San Salvador, December 3, 2003
— The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, signed an agreement today to provide a $25 million corporate loan to Metrocentro S.A. de C.V., for financing the construction of Multiplaza Panamericana, a US$52 million shopping mall project in San Salvador.
The shopping mall financed by IFC loan is the first phase of a multi-use complex, which will include offices, apartments, a hotel and a park in later stages. Completion of such complex should significantly improve commercial infrastructure of the city. The shopping mall is expected to become operational in 2004.
Established in 1970, Metrocentro is the largest shopping mall developer and operator in El Salvador, and is present in primary cities as well as less developed secondary cities and rural areas of the country. The company has played an important role in the development of those cities by stimulating local retailers, local employment, the related supplementary infrastructure and offering higher standards of retail at lower prices to a wide range of consumers.
IFC’s Director of the Latin America and Caribbean Department, said: “IFC’s financing will support an expansion of a competitive service oriented company, which will have a significant impact on the country’s retail sector, related infrastructure and local employment, in addition to creating entrepreneurial opportunities for individual shop owners and their small business suppliers. Furthermore, IFC values its long standing relationship with the Poma Group, which has been actively developing a number of important projects in the Central American region”
Mr. Ricardo Poma, President of Metrocentro, also noted: “This project is part of the Group’s continuous expansion strategy to address the increasing demand for quality retail infrastructure in San Salvador. By providing the necessary infrastructure and easy access to its shopping malls, Metrocentro will also continue to facilitate the development of the formal retail sector in the country.” Mr. Poma added: “IFC’s participation in the project is very important due to IFC’s assistance in the company’s planned training program for existing and new tenants, which will contribute to improvements in the quality of their service and overall business skills”.
As of Fiscal Year 2003, Central American and Caribbean
countries received IFC funding for a combined $291.4 million, with projects in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. IFC is supporting the process by which Central American countries seek to establish economies of scale and increase their competitiveness in the face of accelerating globalization.
IFC's mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY03, IFC has committed more than $37 billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio as of FY03 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held for participants in loan syndications.