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LatinNews Daily - 14 September 2020

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In brief: New US loans announced for Costa Rica

* Costa Rica’s foreign ministry has announced that the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), an independent agency of the US government, has approved a loan of up to US$150m to enable BAC San José, a leading private bank, to expand lending to “underserved borrowers in Costa Rica”, dedicating at least half of loan proceeds to women and 30% to small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). According to a DFC press release, the loan will “inject desperately needed liquidity into Costa Rica following a severe outbreak of [the coronavirus] Covid-19 that has led to widespread and prolonged restrictions to economic activity”. Costa Rica’s GDP is forecast to contract by 5.5% in 2020 according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean (Eclac).The DFC has also announced a US$15m loan to Banco Improsa, another private bank, that will enable loans to SMEs in Costa Rica, with an interest rate structure “that incentivises the bank to lend to businesses owned or led by women”, as well as a US$15m loan to help develop, install, and finance rooftop solar systems that will deliver affordable power to homeowners and businesses in Costa Rica.