In July 2018, OeEB provided USD 20 million to Banco Lafise Bancentro S.A. Nicaragua as part of a USD 115 million loan arranged by IFC. The funds aim to improve access to finance for local MSME and to increase access to housing for local families.

Project name

Banco Lafise Bancentro


Central America and the Caribbean


Financial sector / Microfinance / SME

Service Investment Finance
Project country Nicaragua
OeEB project volume

USD 20 million

Total investment volume

USD 115 million

Projekt partner(s)

IFC, OFID, Norfund

Despite solid economic growth in recent years, Nicaragua is still one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) are the backbone of the economy and play a crucial role in creating jobs and income. However, the majority of these businesses lack access to financing which limits their ability to grow. The loan co-financed by IFC, OeEB, OFID and Norfund, aims to help close this financing gap in order to strengthen the country's private sector.

In addition, the loan will support Banco Lafise in providing mortgage loans to local families. Insufficient access to housing is a major problem in Nicaragua: The government estimates that nearly one million more homes are needed to fill the country's housing deficit. The loan to Banco Lafise addresses this problem by increasing access to housing loans for low and middle-income families.

Banco Lafise is one of the largest banks in Nicaragua. With branches all over the country, it is an ideal partner for reaching customers also in remote, rural areas.