IDB Invest on Friday expanded its Trade Finance Facilitation Program (TFFP) in Barbados, Guyana, and Suriname through subsidiaries of Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) in those countries.
“At IDB Invest, we are pleased to close three transactions with Republic Financial Holdings Limited through our Trade Finance Facilitation Program in Barbados, Guyana and Suriname,” said James Scriven, CEO of IDB Invest.
Under the TFFP, the Inter-American Development Bank and its subsidiary, IDB Invest, provide short-term loans to local banks to finance portfolios of legitimate trade transactions and credit guarantees to global banks to reduce possible risks associated with trading instruments issued by banks in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The incorporation of RFHL subsidiaries into the regional financing programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) comes a month after the investment arm of the Inter-American Development Bank announced the addition of Guyana’s Demerara Bank Limited (DBL) to the same programme.
In October, IDB Invest also expanded Suriname’s Finabank NV’s line of credit under the TFFP from US$2 million to US$5 million.
With the participation of the RFHL subsidiaries in the programme, IDB Invest has added US$55 million in line of credit through the TFFP — US$20 million in both Barbados and Guyana and US$15 million in Suriname.
“With this programme, Republic Financial Holdings Limited can diversify its network of partners, offering trade finance products for imports and exports, including loans and guarantees, to its clients in these countries. This is part of our strong commitment to reinforce financing and boost trade within the Caribbean region,” Scriven pointed out.
In light of the volatility in international markets and macroeconomic pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic, IDB Invest has extended these credit lines to RFHL in order to help the financial institution with accessing new sources of funding for loans in the short term, as well as to diversify its sources and reduce dependence on deposits.
Additionally, the facility will help the bank to increase its supply of foreign trade products to its SME clients and meet their demand for financing in the current context.
Commenting on the institution’s participation in the TFFP, and the receipt of lines of credit as a result, Nigel Baptiste, president and CEO of RFHL, noted: “We believe that this alliance [with IDB Invest] will break down the barriers that exist for SMEs and facilitate new relationships with international markets while maintaining established ones. We have an opportunity to create a robust hub for trade and investment into the region while increasing employment.”
He also underscored the bank’s commitment to providing “financial and developmental support” to the businesses it serves across the Caribbean region