Caribbean Infrastructure: Multilaterals to the Rescue

Sep 1, 2009

As financing from commercial banks becomes increasingly expensive and hard to access, developers of Caribbean infrastructure turn to multilaterals.

by Taina Rosa

As the financial crunch continues, the Caribbean has come to rely mostly on multilaterals such as the IDB and the World Bank for infrastructure financing. This is especially true for nations rated sub-investment grade, but the region generally is struggling to fund its key tourism sector through international banks.

“Unless you’re dealing in investment grade countries, your sources of financing are multilaterals such as the International Finance Corporation and the IDB,” says Scott Swensen, chairman of energy-focused private equity shop Conduit Capital. “Multilaterals take more time, but terms are more favorable. They offer longer terms and cheaper rates,” he adds.

The World Bank in April approved a $27.5 million loan for the Dominican Republic to improve the potable water and sanitation supply in the tourist area of Puerto Plata. For the Bahamas, the IDB approved two technical cooperation grants totaling $1.45...

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