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OFID helps Banco LAFISE Bancentro to support SMEs in Nicaragua
Vienna, Austria, March 14, 2018. OFID (the OPEC Fund for International Development) has signed an agreement committing US$25 million in support of Lafise Bancentro SA in Nicaragua to boost access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises. The proceeds are intended to provide Lafise with access to finance and improve the bank’s capital.
The loan is part of a larger syndication that is being structured by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. The syndication is linked to the development of Lafise’s climate smart portfolio for companies that want to adopt more energy efficient practices and utilize cleaner energy sources. The objective is to help companies access credit to invest in resource efficient and clean energy projects. The syndication will also increase access to low and middle-income housing for Nicaraguan families.
Commenting on the loan, OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish said: “We are committed to supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the world. SMEs form the backbones of the economies of many developing countries, yet often find it difficult to access finance. This fits with our focus of supporting Sustainable Development Goal 8 that aims for decent work and economic growth. In many Latin American countries, SMEs account for more than 50 percent of job creation and growth.”
OFID has a long history of supporting sustainable development projects in Nicaragua, dating back to the year 2000. The institution’s public sector, private sector and trade finance operations mechanisms have between them allocated more than US$230 million to projects in the country’s transport, energy, agriculture and water and sanitation sectors, as well as to action relating to debt.
OFID (the OPEC Fund for International Development) is the development finance institution established by the Member States of OPEC in 1976 as a channel of aid to developing countries. OFID works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international donor community to stimulate economic growth and alleviate poverty in all disadvantaged regions of the world. It does this by providing financing to build essential infrastructure, strengthen social services delivery and promote productivity, competitiveness and trade. OFID’s work is people-centered, focusing on projects that meet basic needs – such as food, energy, clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education – with the aim of encouraging self-reliance and inspiring hope for the future. See www.ofid.org for more.
IFC, a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record US$19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
About LAFISE Bancentro
LAFISE Bancentro was founded in 1991. It is the second largest bank in Nicaragua in terms of assets with 24 percent market share. The bank is a strong participator in the commercial and industrial sectors. The bank consolidates the operation of two subsidiaries, Seguros LAFISE, S.A. and Almacenadora LAFISE. The bank and its subsidiaries have over 2,800 employees and are managed by an experienced and professional management team with a broad knowledge of economic activities in Central America.