Lima, Peru, February 28, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has agreed to assist Amerika Financiera in expanding the range of financial services for its 2,400 small-business clients and helping offer trade financing for small and medium enterprises, a growing business sector in Peru.
IFC will support Amerika Financiera in developing and implementing a new trade-finance product tailored to the needs of small and medium enterprises, an expanding sector and the main source of employment in the country.
Peru’s gross domestic product has grown despite the global financial crisis and financial services for small and medium enterprises represent an important vehicle for continued recovery. However, most of the country’s financial services still target high-income clients, leaving smaller businesses undercapitalized and unable to achieve healthy growth.
“The business potential in trade financing and benefits for our clients led us to include this as a strategic activity,” said Gonzalo Muñiz, Deputy General Manager of Amerika Financiera. “With IFC’s assistance, we will be able to develop high-quality products and services for increasingly demanding customers.”
IFC and Amerika Financiera are long-term partners. In 2007, IFC supported the company’s growth with a $10 million credit line. IFC also provided advisory services to help strengthen Amerika Financiera’s overall outstanding portfolio of $136.5 million and expand its operations in Arequipa and Trujillo, cities outside the capital Lima.
Greta Bull, IFC Advisory Services Program Manager in Latin America and the Caribbean, said, “Our advisory services will assist Amerika Financiera in broadening its reach, developing trade-finance skills, and growing its financial-service offerings to small and medium businesses, an important engine of economic growth in Peru.”
IFC’s strategy in Peru focuses on expanding access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises, as well as access to housing and education finance. IFC also seeks to improve the investment climate and support key players in the private sector to expand services and products to underserved sectors. IFC invests in industries with strong competitive advantages in Peru such as agribusiness and tourism.
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.
About Amerika Financiera Amerika Financiera, a longstanding IFC’s client, is a local finance company originally specialized in finance leases to small and medium enterprises. In May 2010, the company obtained a license to operate as a finance company enabling it to expand its product offerings to the sector, while diversifying its funding base. For more information, visit http://www.amerikaf.pe./