IDB loan to help BBVA Panama boost lending for small businesses

The Inter-American Development Bank approved a $15 million loan to provide Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (Panama), S.A. (BBVAP) with long-term funding to support its lending to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Additionally, the IDB helped catalyze a parallel US$25 million loan from the German development lender Deutsche Investitions und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG) to BBVAP, a unit of the Spanish Grupo BBVA.

The IDB loan will allow BBVAP to significantly expand its lending to SMEs, a strategic sector for economic growth and job creation in Panama, at a time when international market conditions continue to be strained for Latin American commercial banks.

“By supporting BBVAP to grow its SME portfolio, the IDB will help enhance Panama’s competitiveness and job creation, expanding its sources of sustainable growth,” said IDB project team leader Karina Azzinnari.

BBVAP President Alberto Conde said: “The IDB loan will enhance our strategic commitment to serve the SME sector in Panama and lead the development of improved tools to serve this market.“

Commercial banks can play a key role in expanding access to financial services for SMEs, leading to more inclusive financial systems in Latin America, noted IDB Financial Markets Division Chief Daniela Carrera-Marquis. To that end, the IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund expects to provide BBVAP a technical cooperation grant to carry out market studies, develop new products and train its staff to better serve SMEs. Through an IDB-backed program for exporting SMEs, BBVAP clients will receive training in trade financing.

The IDB is the leading source of long-term financing for economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Its Structured and Corporate Finance Department is responsible for non-sovereign guaranteed operations, which include loans and partial credit guarantees for private sector companies and state-owned enterprises.

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BBVAP and IDB signed documents for a $15 million loan to provide BBVAP with long-term funding to support its lending to small and medium-sized enterprises.

The IDB loan will allow BBVAP to significantly expand its lending to SMEs, a strategic sector for economic growth and job creation in Panama.