Edition #1
Message from our CEO
César Cañedo-Argüelles

After a first quarter of transition, coming back from partial recovery due to the impact of the pandemic, we are starting to get back on our feet to face a vigorous second half of the current year. It is worth noting that, in 2020, CIFI closed the financing of 12 projects, and we are already working on the structuring of several projects in Panama, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Chile, Peru and Brazil.

In addition to continuing to be an active player in structuring and financing projects, this year we are targeting three initiatives: supporting local currency financing in a country in the region, taking a step further as a bridge between institutional investors and the infrastructure world with a structure focused on capital preservation and annual distributions, and the launch of a plan focused on sustainable infrastructure projects, in line with our commitment to support projects aligned with the best standards in terms of Socio-Environmental Governance.

At CIFI we are convinced of the importance of greater private sector participation in the development of infrastructure projects, and we are aware that 2021 is a year full of challenges, but also a year to bet on change, illusion, creativity, and how to continue supporting in a sustainable and responsible way the middle class and the middle market of Latin American and Caribbean countries, our raison d'être.

Latest Funded Projects
CIFI closes financing agreement with Mexican company "Grupo Punto Alto" for US$16 MM 

CIFI, as lead structuring and sole provider, closed, in April, an agreement with the Mexican group "Grupo Punto Alto" (GPA) to finance a total of US$ 16 MM, making a first disbursement in the amount of US$ 13MM.

This financing will help with the Group's restructuring process, as well as with structuring and obtaining the necessary financing to carry out new projects in the coming years, contributing to the economic development of the communities where GPA participates, through the provision of new jobs and measuring its greenhouse gases for the benefit of the environment. 

New Funding for CIFI
Last March we announced a new financing facility from Cargill Trade and Capital Markets for USD 20 MM, increasing the current outstanding facility to USD 45 MM from this institution. Cargill Trade and Capital Markets is the financing arm of Cargill. This loan will contribute to investments in renewable energy projects in Latin America and the Caribbean, specifically in the construction of solar energy facilities. 

Founded in 1865, Cargill is one of the largest privately held corporations in the United States, with a presence in more than 70 countries. Through Trade and Capital and Markets, Cargill seeks to provide financing solutions for sustainability and renewable energy projects in Latin America.
CIFI issues US$30 MM bond in the Colombian capital market.

Consolidating our position as a regional issuer, we executed the first issuance of ordinary bonds in Colombia for an aggregate amount in excess of COP 100 billion pesos, approximately US$30 million.

The issue of ordinary bonds, placed in the secondary market, obtained a credit risk rating of AA- (Col) from Fitch Ratings, and had the participation of a plural number of institutional investors, among which are: commercial banks, third party resource managers and insurance companies.

Parallel to this issue, the Colombian Financial Superintendence approved the recognition of the Panama Stock Exchange, which opens the possibility for other Panamanian issuers to access this South American market.

We invite you to expand on this topic from the words of its actors in the Webinar:


Climate Change Strategy: our road towards a 1.5°C economy – Collaboration of Carla Chizmar, Head of ESG

Our recently approved Climate Change Policy defines our commitments to a sustainable world: “The global community, through the UNFCCC, has identified the financial sector as a crucial actor in the fight against climate change. CIFI fully acknowledges the financial sector's responsibility for achieving the Paris Agreement's objectives on climate change through its investment decisions and its corporate operations and mitigation plans. Furthermore, CIFI has decided to spearhead the necessary transition of financial institutions in Latin America and raise ambitions to align with a 1.5°C global warming scenario economy.”

Since 2019, we embarked on an ambitious plan to develop a comprehensive ESG Strategy with support from our partners responsAbility (GCPF) and SustainAbility (today the SustainAbility Institute by ERM). Such efforts led to another key assessment regarding our Climate Change Risks and Opportunities, as well as to define a path to reduce our carbon footprint.  During 2020, we worked with South Pole, a firm dedicated to sustainability and climate change advisory, in a three-Phased project: i) High-level Carbon Footprint (2019), climate risk assessment and peer practices, ii) Decarbonization Pathways (2020 GHG footprint scope 1 and 2), iii) GHG Footprint scope 3 for 2020.

In parallel, we conducted a revision and update of our Environmental and Social Management System, including the development of a Climate Change Policy and procedures to assess Climate Risk on our investment cycle. Finally, as part of our ESG Strategy, we also defined our Transparency Approach around climate change and other key ESG matters.

Our efforts demanded that the entire company receive training in Climate Change Risks and Impacts and GHG footprint at a more technical level, so we have held several capacity building and consultation events during 2020 and 2021, including in these the participation of members of our Board of Directors, senior management, and all our staff.

At the same time, collaboration from our clients was key to accurately measure the carbon footprint of our investments., we were able to collect physical data of 62% of our portfolio thanks to the kind support of our clients. An incredible success!

As part of our transparency approach, our Annual ESG Report is almost ready and shall include all the amazing results from this project and our positive impact indicators, including our Green Bonds. The report will be available at our website by the end of May and will be shared with all our key stakeholders directly.

Lastly, as part of our engagement strategy and advocacy towards highly relevant topics in our agenda, such as Climate Change, we will be offering a webinar to all our partners and clients, telling our story, and sharing best practices. The webinar is planned for mid-May and will have the participation of all three organizations behind the project: South Pole, responsAbility (GCPF) and CIFI. Stay tuned for the details on how to participate.

A team focused on growing
infrastructure development in the region.

So far in 2021 we have participated, through our leaders, in important debates.

Ramon Candia, CIFI's CIO participated in IIFLatAm2021 from Inframation, an Acuris company, which is the leading provider of high-value business information for the industry, with over 750 corporate subscribers, including many of the world's leading developers, institutional investors, infrastructure private equity funds, banks, developers, law firms, consultants and insurance companies.

Our origination director, Lucy Peralta participated in the Renmad Latam 2021 conference circuit, an  event with more than 40 professional speakers from the sector and 31 sessions in which key topics on storage with renewables in Latin America were discussed: how to design, promote, finance, build and operate renewables with cost-effective storage. In this "multilateral round table" Edwin Antonio Malagon Orjuela of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) explained that in LATAM storage has played an indisputable role in the electrification coverage gap where batteries have replaced fossil fuels. He points out that, in the next 10 years, electro-mobility will be fully embraced by the use of batteries and that batteries will be a primary energy element.

Cesar Cañedo-Argüelles, CEO of CIFI, participated as a panelist in a conference sponsored by GRI Club, a global club that brings together key players in the real estate and infrastructure sector. GRI's mission is to connect leaders in these markets and contribute to building privileged relationships and real business opportunities. On this occasion they met to discuss the great challenges and opportunities that exist in the energy transition in Central America. It was a space for constructive dialogue between the different actors in the region.

Cesar Cañedo-Argüelles moderated a panel that brought together investors, developers, lenders, private equity, development banks and the most active financiers at the heart of Central American infrastructure financing. The event sponsored by IJ Global aimed to give its participants everything they need to unlock the potential of energy and infrastructure investment in Central America.

Committed to society / Gender Equity

CIFI is a company aware of the importance of gender equity as a fundamental element for sustainable development, which is why last February it joined the IPG (Iniciativa de Paridad de Genero), a high-level public-private collaboration model that seeks to support countries interested in reducing the economic gender gap.

As part of the implementation of our gender strategy, and in line with the gender parity initiative established in the UN SDGs, CIFI and ENRED PANAMA began working together this year to align concepts, strengthen procedures and implement best practices that will impact the Gender Equality Policy.

Additionally, a workshop on "Initial awareness raising on equality between women and men" was held. The workshop was led by María Ángeles Sallé, Ángel Sallé and the CIFI team participated in its entirety during the 6 hours it lasted. With this workshop we advance on the first phase of the gender strategy, and are making an effort to integrate our clients.

Best practices / Training and coaching of our team

Annual update on our Know Your Customer policy and prevention of money laundering. - Collaboration of Carlos Poveda, Corporate Compliance Officer.

As a company aware of the importance in the prevention and identification of situations that expose it to reputational risk associated with corruption and related crimes, and despite the pandemic and new working conditions, the CIFI team attended the annual Know Your Customer Policy Update and Prevention of Money Laundering. '`-This session emphasized the application of established processes and documentation, as well as the importance of properly evaluating projects that include participation in public bids and local or international concessions and exemplified how to mitigate the effects on the Company's reputation and finances with real cases from Latin America.

Legal Project Finance - Collaboration of Cira Ugas and Jose Salaverria.

In March, as part of the staff training plan on legal issues throughout the organization, a training on the new Model Loan Agreement for Project Finance took place.

Our qualified advisors from the Hunton Andrews Kurth team, reviewed practical and essential aspects for the effective use of the model, whose implementation will contribute to the efficiency in negotiations with clients and in the management of CIFI's portfolio.

During the analysis, key issues on financing were addressed, including the relevance of the use of the different CIFI structures, the design of project financing conditions focused on the needs of each client, key definitions, the necessary conditions or precedents to financing, the reference to the new environmental standards, and the aspects involving the relationship between all parties such as: borrowers and co-borrowers, guarantors and sponsors.

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