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LatinNews Daily - 28 April 2021

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In brief: BCIE approves economic recovery loan for El Salvador

* The Central American development bank (BCIE) has approved a US$600m loan for El Salvador to support its economic recovery from the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which resulted in El Salvador’s GDP contracting 7.2% in 2020 on World Bank figures. The loan aims to benefit more than 21,000 small and medium-size businesses (SMEs) and help the retention of more than 100,000 jobs. According to a BCIE press release, the loan programme has three financial support subprogrammes aimed at SMEs. The first is to provide subsidies to their employees to the tune of US$140m, the second to provide loans of up to US$360m, and the third is the productive financing programme for entrepreneurs and small traders in the informal sector for US$100m. These resources are expected to benefit 4m people. The funds will be channelled through 13 intermediary financial institutions with which BCIE maintains strategic alliances for development. The loan was approved for a term of up to 20 years, including a five-year grace period and an indicative annual interest rate of 2.5%.