IFC to keep pace of investments in Brazil with environmental focus

The skyline of Rio de Janeiro is pictured June 16, 2014. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

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SAO PAULO, April 5 (Reuters) — The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private-sector arm, is expected to maintain the pace of its environment-focused investments in Brazil regardless of the outcome of the country’s October presidential election, an IFC executive said on Tuesday.

«Even if the government is not actively supporting the environmental agenda, we are maintaining our investment plans with private companies emphasizing that this is important for them to be more resilient to the effects of climate change,» Martin Spicer, IFC’s director for Latin America and the Caribbean, told Reuters.

Spicer’s comments highlight the investment group’s willingness to keep sustainability as its main guideline for investments in the country. About 60% of the nearly $2.8 billion invested annually by the group in the region have this condition.

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In addition to ongoing investments in renewable energy projects, IFC sees opportunities for it to participate in sanitation-related projects in the country after a new framework for the sector was approved, according to the executive.

Besides the environmental agenda, IFC, which is part of the World Bank Group, has also discussed investing in more basic education projects using technology and health, especially for emerging businesses.

In March, the group signed a $150 million loan to Santander Brasil to finance small businesses in the health sector in the country.

«Investing in venture capital is part of our business,» Spicer said, adding that the effects of the pandemic in Latin America have opened up a number of new opportunities to support companies with high growth potential in such areas.

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Reporting by Aluisio Alves; Writing by Peter Frontini; Editing by Aurora Ellis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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