Punta Cana real estate news – IFC supports Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana Airport expansion to develop tourism

Santo Domingo.- IFC, a member of theWorld Bank Group, will provide $20 million to Corporación Aeroportuaria del Este, SA to expand the Punta Cana International Airport and support the Dominican Republic's tourism sector.

CAE, which owns and operates the airport, will build a new runway and taxiway suitable for larger aircraft and expand the passenger terminal. The expansion will enable increased passenger capacity, improve services, and diversify destination markets. It also will benefit the local economy by supporting tourism, a key source of foreign exchange and fiscal revenues.

The airport serves top-tourist destinations of the Punta Cana and Bavaro regions and is the country's busiest and fastest-growing airport. During the first 10 months of 2009, it handled about 3.2 million passengers and accounted for roughly 43.2 percent of total air passengers in the Dominican Republic.

“In 1984, we opened the Punta Cana International Airport, an essential infrastructure project for the Dominican Republic's economic and social growth,” said Frank Rainieri, President and CEO of Grupo Punta Cana SA, CAE's shareholding company. “We welcome IFC's financial support and expertise in this project that will help enhance regional development.”

Salem Rohana, IFC Representative in the Dominican Republic, said, “IFC's support of the Punta Cana International Airport project shows our commitment to helping develop the local infrastructure and tourism sectors, a cornerstone of our strategy in the Caribbean. It also reiterates our continued support of the region in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.”

Banco BHD, a leading commercial bank in the Dominican Republic and IFC investment bank provided an additional $10 million in co-financing for the expansion. “With this financing, BHD once again demonstrates its commitment to supporting the development of its corporate clients, while also partaking in the social and economic progress of the Punta Cana region and the country,” said Carmina Pellerano, Banco BHD Vice President of Corporate Banking, Large Corporations, and Multinationals.

IFC's committed investment portfolio in the Dominican Republic is $183 million. Over the past 10 years, IFC's investment in the Caribbean totaled $1.2 billion, including $268 million in syndications, for 61 projects. IFC is expanding operations in the Caribbean, with special focus on diversifying economies and strengthening private sector competitiveness to stimulate economic growth and job creation. Priority sectors are infrastructure, health, education, tourism, and the financial sector to promote access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises.

IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries-including by supporting infrastructure projects in the Caribbean.