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Paraguayan bank to boost housing and small business loans with IDB support

Loan for $5.72 million will help modernize and improve BNF’s operations

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a $5.72 million loan to support the modernization and institutional strengthening of Paraguay’s Banco Nacional de Fomento (BNF). The resources will enable the state-owned bank to boost its lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and expand access to housing for low-income people.

Within four years it is expected that the program will help BNF to extend PYG 480 billion (about $115 million) in loans to more than 40,000 small businesses and PYG 134 billion (about $32 million) in loans to 900 low-income families for housing.

The IDB loan will also finance remodeling of BNF’s headquarters and 50 branches and install or upgrade 100 ATMs. It will also finance the purchase of hardware and software for a new risk management system, the implementation of an internal audit system, the installation of modern communication systems, and the application of a new comprehensive systems plan.

The program also includes training, both in Paraguay and abroad, for more than 1,000 BNF staff in the areas of credit and risk management, deposits, customer service, new products, management training, and environmental management.

The loan is for a 20-year term, with a 4-year grace period and a variable interest rate based on LIBOR. The Paraguayan government will contribute $3.5 million to the program.