New York, United States: <p>Citi, Global Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have partnered to provide more mortgages and Small Medium Enterprise (SME) business loans to women.</p>
The joint initiative offers a first-of-its-kind co-lending transaction of a $90 million loan ($20 million funded by Citi for three years and $70 million funded by IFC for five years) to Global Bank. The proceeds from this loan will be used for either Low Income Housing Mortgages–Hipoteca Preferencial–for women as heads of household or for women-owned and-or women-led enterprises. In addition, Global Bank will also partner with IFC Advisory Services to further enhance and develop gender-focused products and services in Panama.
“It’s an honor to support groups and institutions that seek to broaden women empowerment across the region as well as to place women at the center of Panama’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic,” said Marcelo Gorrini, Caribbean and Central America Cluster Head and Panama Citi Country Officer. “This isn’t just any kind of deal but one we see has the real ability to make a difference in the lives of people by providing them with this targeted funding while championing women empowerment.”
Across the world, the struggle for the overall equality and economic empowerment of women has persisted for many generations and has become more acute as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionally impacted more women in the workplace than men. This has been no different in Panama, with 46.5% of employed women working in sectors most impacted by the crisis, compared to 29.6% of employed men.
“There has been growing interest for housing projects that qualify for preferential interest rates, and there is a need to adjust the supply,” said Jorge Vallarino, CEO of Global Bank. “We have been steadily growing our mortgage portfolio, with almost half of it focused on low- and middle-income families,” Vallarino added.
“For Citi, this ESG transaction is a win across the board and exemplifies how Citi succeeds together, one of our leadership principles, in our client’s interests, namely Global Bank in Panama and the IFC as the largest development institution focused on private sector in developing countries,” said John Finnigan, Banking, Capital Markets and Advisory Managing Director, Citi. “We can truly say we are delivering with pride together with our clients and with the ultimate benefit of on-lending and creating economic value for women in Panama.”
This successful transaction serves as a template for future deals Citi and IFC seek to replicate as it embodies IFC’s and Citi’s commitment to ESG.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
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About Global Bank
Global Bank is a Panamanian capital bank that began operations in 1994, initially focused on the corporate banking segment. Currently, Global Bank and its subsidiaries offer a wide range of financial services to its more than 200,000 clients throughout Panama, positioning itself as the second largest bank with a general license of Panamanian capital. It has assets of $8,516 million, a net worth of $782 million and 39 branches nationwide.
IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.