This content is from: Local Insights

IIC invests in Desyfin

Mauricio Salas, BLP Abogados

On June 7 2010, the Washington based Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) approved an equity investment of up to $1 million in preferred shares in Financiera Desyfin SA. Desyfin is a financial entity which has been licensed and based in Costa Rica since 1991.

The investment involves purchasing dollar-denominated perpetual preferred shares. In addition to strengthening Desyfin's capital structure, the funds from the IIC will provide the company with direct financing to grow its medium and long-term small and medium sized Enterprise (SME) portfolio. Approximately 520 SMEs will benefit directly and indirectly from this operation, which expects to place $180 million in new loans in the sector. Desyfin is focusing on small and medium enteprises as a strategic niche.

Desyfin is controlled by the Lacayo family group. IIC will control nine per cent of the capital stock, with the Lacayo group controlling the remaining 91%. Desyfin has traditionally been associated with factoring services, especially related to the financing of contracts and bids with the Costa Rican central government.

According to Rodrigo Navas, IIC investment officer, "This operation is in line with the IIC's developmental priorities and will enable Desyfin to take a significant step toward becoming a commercial bank." Desyfin recently adopted SAP software in a related strategic initiative. The company expects to become a commercial bank in the next five years and branch out into the rest of the Central American region.

The IIC is a multilateral financial institution that is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. It provides financing (in the form of equity investments, loans, guarantees, and other instruments) and advisory services to private enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2009, the IIC reached $1.4 billion in assets and approved 40 operations channeling $299.8 million to SMEs in the region.

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