Europa | Europe
lunes 09 de mayo de 2022
International banks offer funds to Nicaraguan electromobility entrepreneurs
More than 400 million dollars are available for different projects. In this context, businessmen met with BCIE, the Minister of Finance, the president of the BCN, and the Superintendent of Banks.
Compartí la nota

The Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) offered private sector representatives meeting at its new headquarters in Managua a range of financing programmes that can exceed 400 million dollars.

In addition to offering resources to the governments of partner countries, BCIE also provides funds to private initiative in the region, as a way of balancing the balance between the public and private sectors, but also to reduce exposure to the financial risk involved in concentrating a very high percentage of its credit portfolio in very few clients.

Among other options, it can be applied to funds for technology, economic development, industry, Central American integration, employment generation, gender, environment, increasing the value of the export offer, irrigation, projects developed in the dry corridor, electromobility, electricity generation through renewable sources, and construction, both general and housing.

The Bank’s offer started with the remaining US$200 million (of the total US$350 million provided by its ‘Financial Sector Support Facility’ to support MSMEs) that it has not been able to place in Central America. As the deadline for applying for these funds has passed, the lender has few objections to concentrating the resources in a single country.

This is a very sensitive issue for the Chamber of Urban Developers of Nicaragua (CADUR), which is still awaiting the disbursement of 171 million dollars from the National Programme for the Construction of Housing of Social Interest, approved by CABEI, to build and purchase some 18,660 houses. Although the bureaucratic procedures have already been completed, Mossi has given himself 12 more months to transfer the resources, which has the association exasperated.

During the meeting, the head of the regional entity gave two pieces of good news to the developers: first, that the housing loan will be disbursed in the coming months (another source said it would be «before the end of the year», which does not change anything, given that the deadline Mossi granted himself ends on 8 September); and that «the pending tenders have already been fulfilled».

The second is about the creation of a mechanism to fund the companies that make up CADUR, creating bonds in córdobas to be placed in the Nicaraguan stock market, with the intention of having resources to offer credits to developers, so that they can create the supply of housing, as a complement to the 171 million córdobas that the banks would manage to finance buyers.

Sources are unclear whether the bonds will be issued by the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN), with a guarantee from BCIE, or whether BCIE will be the issuer. The Central American Bank’s press release details that Mossi explained that «the possibility of issuing bonds in local currency to finance projects in the construction sector will be analysed, as an alternative to vertical constructions».

A member of CADUR, who was not at the meeting with Mossi, said that the union is hopeful, because they were told that they can also apply to the ‘Financial Sector Support Facility’ to support MSMEs, or negotiate directly at the Bank’s private window, to obtain loans of up to 20 million dollars.

Entrepreneurs who participated in the meeting explained to CONFIDENCIAL – on condition of anonymity – that «it was a very formal meeting, in which they first met with us, and then with the bank».

«At no time did I see any of the businessmen who support the government» of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, said one of the sources consulted by Confidencial, referring to the Association for the Development and Sustainability of Nicaragua (APRODESNI).

The press release published by the Bank states that its executive president, Dante Mossi, declared that he had «spoken with thirteen representatives of chambers of commerce, eight financial institutions, the Association of Banks of Nicaragua and the Chamber of Microfinance, about the financing mechanisms available to the Bank, as tools for the recovery and revitalisation of the economy».

A professional present at the meeting said that the Ortega government was represented by the governor and deputy governor for Nicaragua at BCIE (Iván Acosta and Ovidio Reyes, minister of finance and president of the BCN respectively), plus the superintendent of banks, Luis Ángel Montenegro, given the presence of the entire national banking sector.

«It was the BCIE who managed the entire meeting, and the political variant was not discussed,» he argued.

When consulted, lawyer Eliseo Núñez declared that «I don’t expect the businessmen to become opponents. However, they should be clear about the partner they are acquiring when they talk to the government about anything».

The former Liberal deputy urged businessmen to remember that Ortega «had them as partners before 2018, and now he is persecuting them, cornering them, charging them huge amounts of money in taxes, and imprisoning the main leaders of that time, and now».

«That’s why I think that the business community is once again looking at things in the very short term. They don’t see beyond the profits they can make in the short term, when in reality, there is no strategic value in having any relationship with Ortega,» he reasoned.

Finally, the Bank promised to review its cost structure for financing opportunities, «so that the final recipient receives resources at a reasonable cost»; it reported on the creation of the BCIE capital fund, scheduled to be launched on 30 June, as well as communicating the opportunity to apply for Korean funds, with the creation of innovative initiatives.