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EXIM secures US$20m from PetroCaribe Fund

Published:Friday | January 27, 2012 | 12:00 AM

The National Export-Import Bank of Jamaica has signed a US$20-million loan agreement with the PetroCaribe Development Fund (PDF) for on-lending primarily to small and medium-size businesses in the productive sector.

An immediate spin-off of the loan is that SMEs operating in the productive sector will now be able to benefit from a new accelerated processing initiative, which allows them to access working capital within five working days for short-term loans and 15 working days for medium-term loans, EXIM said in a statement on Wednesday.

Businesses can access up to a maximum of J$40 million under the accelerated loan programme, which runs until March 30.

The EXIM Bank said it was the fourth loan that it has successfully negotiated with the PetroCaribe Fund since its borrowing relationship began with that organisation in 2007. Funds sourced from the PDF have primarily been used for the development of SMEs with export potential and or which provide linkages to the tourism and export sectors.

"This capital injection will greatly boost EXIM Bank's ability to continue discharging its mandate of providing competitively priced financing solutions to ensure that the private sector builds its competitiveness, increase trade and, most importantly, stimulate growth in the economy," the statement said.

The bank said that during 2011, it successfully achieved its loan utilisation target of J$6.5 billion, with a more aggressive target of J$7 billion and J$7.5 billion set by the board for the 2012 and 2013 financial years, respectively.