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IFC and Canada Provide Their First Sustainable Energy Finance Loan in Central America


In Lima, Peru:
Clara Ugarte Perrin, IFC
Phone: +51 1 6112501
E-mail: Cugarteperrin@ifc.org


Tegucigalpa, Honduras, May 24, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed its first sustainable-energy-finance loan in Central America with Honduras’ Banco Atlantida, or Bancatlan. The loan, with the support of the Government of Canada, will help expand Bancatlan’s lending operations for financing small-scale renewable-energy, energy-efficiency, and cleaner-production projects.

The $50 million loan and a parallel IFC advisory services project, both funded by IFC and the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program, will provide improved access to cleaner and more reliable sources of energy and promote economic  growth and job creation in the country. It will also strengthen the bank’s internal capacity to finance sustainable energy projects in Honduras. These important improvements were made possible thanks to the government of Canada’s instrumental contribution, which helped make the financing package viable.

“The Honduran energy sector suffers from heavy dependence on fossil fuels, which in consequence has a large impact on the cost of power generation in our country.” said Guillermo Bueso, Bancatlan’s Executive President and CEO. “Our government and the country’s private sector have made it a priority to change the energy matrix to renewable resources, and IFC’s support is a key element to achieving this goal.”

IFC established a relationship with Bancatlan in 2009, when it provided the bank with a $30 million trade-finance facility to support import and export activities. IFC subsequently supported Bancatlan with an advisory-services project on SME finance and risk management to improve the bank’s effectiveness and financial-service offerings to small and medium businesses, which lead to increased economic opportunities for low-income groups in the country.

“IFC’s investment will support Bancatlan’s long-term funding needs and prepare the bank to become a key regional player in project finance, focusing on sustainable-energy opportunities,” said Rashad Kaldany, IFC’s Vice President of Global Industries. “This is also IFC’s first investment in Latin America with funding from the Canadian government to promote clean-energy investments.”

About Banco Atlántida
Banco Atlántida, established in 1913, is the leading company of the largest independent financial group in Honduras, serving individual consumers as well as small and large enterprises with a full range of banking and financial products. With the use of innovative technology and world-class standards, the bank has offered unparalleled convenience in Honduras during 99 years of service, through the largest network of branches in the country. For more information, visit www.bancatlan.hn.

About the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program
The IFC-Canada Climate Change Program promotes private sector financing for clean energy projects. Canada’s financing to IFC for this program is part of its overall fast-start financing contribution for 2010–2011. Under the Copenhagen Accord, developed countries committed to provide fast-start financing of almost $30 billion for 2010–2012 to support climate-change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. As part of Canada’s commitment to support climate change action in developing countries, Canada is contributing $1.2 billion Canadian dollars in new and additional climate-change financing over three years (fiscals 2010–2013).

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

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In Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Lic. Carlos Girón, Banco Atlántida
Phone: (504) 2239 4219
Email:
cgiron@bancatlan.hn