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GDB And EDB Close Banner Fiscal Year
EDBs loan portfolio jumped 18% in FY04; GDB issued record-breaking $25 billion in bonds in three and a half years
By LUIS A. RAMOS
August 12, 2004
Fiscal year 2004 (FY04), ended June 30, was a productive year for the Economic Development Bank (EDB) and the Government Development Bank (GDB). The EDBs loan portfolio jumped 18%. Meanwhile, the GDB reached a record $25 billion in bonds issued in nearly four years.
Economic Development Bank
The EDBs FY04 was characterized by increased loan approvals for the small-and-midsize-business sector.
During this time, the EDB approved 809 loans amounting to $114.2 million, or 155 more loans than the previous year, for a 24% increase. Loan closings rose from $82 million in FY03 to $94 million in FY04, reflecting a 15% increase.
The EDBs standing loan portfolio at the end of FY04 was $190 million, 18% higher than the previous years $161 million.
Meanwhile, loan delinquencies in FY04 fell to 12.8%, reflecting a 34.4% reduction in the loan delinquency rate of 19.5% from the same time last year.
The EDBs performance during the past fiscal year contributed to the creation or retention of more than 13,000 jobs, according to bank officials. For example, as of June 30, it had collaborated with commercial banks to approve 17 participation loans worth $23.3 million for projects reported to have created 6,664 new jobs.
The EDBs interest-reimbursement program also helped save and create jobs. In collaboration with the Commissioner of Municipal Affairs, it allowed businesses up to 75% reimbursement on the cost of interest paid. By the end of FY04, the EDB had certified $1.63 million in reimbursements, creating and retaining 1,530 jobs.
In April, the EDB launched its Entrepreneurial Bank Center at its headquarters, which is a loan origination and payment center and includes a virtual library where small and midsize businesses have easy access to information on government services, incentives, permitting processes, etc. (CB April 8).
"It is highly satisfying to report such achievements, in particular because it reflects the teamwork of our 178 employees," said EDB President Francisco Rodriguez Castro.
Government Development Bank
As of June 30, 2004, the GDB, the local governments fiscal agent, had total bank assets worth $9.2 billion, a 6% increase over its $8.7 billion at the end of FY03. Its loan portfolio grew to $4.3 billion, a 65% jump from FY03s $2.6. Its investment portfolio and capital stood at $4.2 billion and $2.3 billion, respectively, at the end of FY04.
Its Public Financing Department also originated nearly $7.6 billion in bond issues for the central government and various public corporations. Of that amount, new funding exceeded $4.2 billion while more than $3.3 billion went to refinancing government debt.
FY04 marked a milestone for the GDB. From January 2001 to June 30, it issued a record $25 billion in new bond issues and debt refinancing. It also achieved public savings by refinancing and restructuring $1.1 billion in debt.
The GDB was particularly active in tourism in FY04 as well, approving $283 million in loan guarantees and direct financing through the Puerto Rico Tourism Development Fund. This allowed for the construction of 566 new rooms at the Vanderbilt and La Concha hotels, the Westin Rio Mar Beach, El Convento Hotel, Martineau Bay, Caguas Hampton Inn, and other hotels.
The GDB was also instrumental in enhancing public credit during FY04. Through the banks efforts, rating agency Moodys increased the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authoritys credit classification from Baa1 to A3 for the first time in 20 years. Moodys also raised the Public Financing Corp.s credit rating from Baa3 to Baa2. Rating agency Standard & Poors increased short-term debt (or Tax Revenue Anticipation Notes) classification from SP1 to SP+.
This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.