IFC Provides $70 Million to Support Argentine Oil Producer

IFC Provides $70 Million to Support Argentine Oil Producer
 In Washington, D.C
Adriana Gomez
Phone: + 1 (202) 458 5204

Hannfried von Hindenburg
Phone: + 1 (202) 458-5613

In Latin America
Karina Manasseh
Phone: +1 (55 11) 5185-6881

Washington, June 8, 2006 The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to provide a $70 million 10-year revolving credit facility to Companias Asociadas Petroleras S.A. (CAPSA), an independent Argentine oil producer operating in the province of Chubut.

The loan facility will finance CAPSA’s capital expenditures, working capital requirements, and general corporate activities.  IFC’s loan package includes $50 million for IFC’s own account and another $20 million that IFC helped mobilize from Cordiant Capital of Canada.  The 10-year facility is the longest IFC-syndicated tenor in Argentina since the crisis in 2001.

Atul Mehta, IFC’s Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, noted, “This transaction fits well with IFC’s strategy to provide long-term financing to companies in strategic sectors such as oil, gas, and mining in Argentina.  We look forward to a continued partnership with CAPSA, a company that shares our vision for sustainability and economic growth.”

IFC’s financing will help sustain employment in the Chubut province, a remote region with few employment opportunities other than the oil and gas industry.  CAPSA is a source of direct and indirect employment in the region, and the majority of its workforce is sourced locally.  The company also procures about half of its purchases locally through community suppliers.

“IFC is happy to provide CAPSA with increased financial flexibility. We are very pleased with the company’s commitment to environment protection, as they are operating both mature and new hydrocarbon fields with the same high environmental standards,” said Somit Varma, Associate Director of IFC’s Oil, Gas, Mining, and Chemicals Department.

“CAPSA and its shareholders are very pleased with the new agreement with IFC, which renews a long-term relationship that our institutions have maintained since 1996 and that we strengthened during the 2001 crisis,” a statement from CAPSA said.

IFC in Argentina
From July 1, 2005, to March 2006, IFC has committed $233 million for its own account and an additional $383 million in syndications in private sector projects in Argentina.  IFC’s total portfolio in the country as of December 2005 is $1,029 million

In Argentina IFC has been shifting its focus from short-term lines to long-term financing.  IFC’s priorities for its direct investments are to provide long-term financing and structured finance products to companies and projects in strategic sectors, with an emphasis on groups expanding on a South-South basis and on export-oriented or export-facilitating projects.  Strategic sectors include oil, gas, and mining; agribusiness and forestry products; and the financial sector. IFC is emphasizing high-impact projects such as housing, as well as support of export-oriented SMEs.

About IFC
The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.  IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent.  Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition 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 FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries.  IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.  For more information, visit http://www.ifc.org