Citigroup subsidiary helps microfinance initiative

Banamex will help fund project in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Mexico-based private bank, and subsidiary of Citigroup, has joined the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group and its partners in launching the Microfinance Growth Fund (MIGROF), a new lending facility for microfinance institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean. The new facility will offer medium-and long-term financing both in local currency and in US dollars, targeting 35% of the total financing to be provided in local currencies, and is expected to begin its lending activity in following weeks.

Other investors include the Norwegian Microfinance Initiative, ACCION International and BlueOrchard, a Switzerland-based microfinance investment management company. Luis Alberto Moreno, president of Inter-American Development Bank's and chairman of the board of the IIC, said: "A great project has become something real, we are open for business. MIGROF will fuel the engine of growth in microfinance, an industry serving millions of entrepreneurs throughout the region."

The partners in the MIGROF are The Inter-American Development Bank's Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN), the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), the Corporacion Andina de Fomento (CAF).

Manuel Medina-Mora, chairman and CEO of Citi Latin America and Mexico, said: "We are pleased to join this initiative to further expand microfinance in the region. By contributing to the Microfinance Growth Fund, Banamex and Citi are furthering their commitment to promoting development in Latin America, as well as leading the way for other Latin American investors to contribute to this initiative."