IFC, FMO Provide $30 Million to Support Housing Finance and Enterprises in Costa...
San Jose/Washington, D.C., July, 27 2011 -
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will provide $30 million to Costa Rica’s National Cooperative of Educators, R.L. (Coopenae) to expand access to finance for housing and small and medium enterprises, which provide 38 percent of formal employment in the country. This is IFC’s first investment in a cooperative in Costa Rica.
IFC will provide Coopenae up to $15 million in local-currency financing for its own account, and it will mobilize a parallel loan of up to $15 million, also in local currency, from the Netherlands Development institution FMO. IFC will also provide advisory services to expand credit operations to micro and small enterprises by helping improve Coopenae’s market strategy, credit methodology, and risk management.
Coopenae is a leading regulated, deposit-taking, finance company organized as a cooperative with over 70,000 active members in Costa Rica, and the second-largest local private sector financial institution in terms of assets and deposits.
“IFC’s financing and advisory services will enable Coopenae to expand financial and technical capacity to provide much-needed funding for clients and small and midsize businesses from various sectors throughout Costa Rica,” said José Eduardo Alvarado Campos, General Manager of Coopenae. “These operations will also support our growth strategy and help Costa Rica meet the demand for housing, particularly among low-income families.”
Chantal Schrijver, FMO Investment Officer Financial Institutions, said, “Supporting Coopenae and the cooperative financial sector of Costa Rica will enable us to reach the lower-income and still underserved micro and small enterprises sectors as well as strengthen the cooperative’s ability to provide low- and middle-income housing finance.”
The financing to Coopeane shows IFC’s catalyst role mobilizing resources and coordinating efforts of development finance institutions and private sector to help fill financing gaps caused by the retrenchment of commercial lenders.
Marcelo Castellanos, IFC Head for Financial Markets in Central America, noted, “IFC’s support to Coopenae is part of our commitment to strengthen the role of private sector financial institutions in expanding productive sectors in Costa Rica, in particular small and medium enterprises, which are an essential engine of job creation and competitiveness.”