Baby steps

16 March 2021

When emerging economies build for the future, they need modern and efficient maternity care. flow reports on why the structured export financing of Argentina’s Hospital Provincial Nueva Maternidad Felipe Lucini was a turning point in sustainable finance

Access to an affordable quality medical service is a fundamental human right, and making this happen in parts of the world that struggle with its provision is a powerful example of sustainable finance in action. And when it comes to ensuring that future generations arrive into the world safely and securely, maternity facilities with top quality care and support for mothers and their babies are a particularly sound investment in tomorrow.

We saw how Latin American governments have been prioritising healthcare for a long time. During the 2000s the Deutsche Bank’s Structured Trade and Export Finance (STEF) team signed several hospital facilities in Panama and Dominican Republic. In addition, from 2016−2021, the Bank has supported the Ecuadorian and Argentinean governments for the partial or total financing of the construction and equipment of two hospitals in Ecuador’s Guayaquil and Machala, together with a maternity hospital in Argentina’s Cordoba Province. The success of such deals has attracted interest from other countries in this approach to financing social infrastructure, which is why the Bank’s Spanish STEF team has been consistently arranging these transactions in the Latin America region for two decades.

Despite geological (in this case) and geopolitical upheavals, Latin American governments have continued to invest in social infrastructure and services, often using export finance. Deutsche Bank’s STEF team has been able to call on expertise from the Spanish export credit agency here, with CESCE having supported the construction of a number of health facilities in the region. Beatriz Reguero, Chief Operating Officer of State Account Business at CESCE said that despite the uncertain outlook, the ECA “remains open in all main Latin America markets” and was “willing to increase exposure in them”.  In particular this has included two hospital projects in Argentina, one of which was the construction and equipping of the Cordoba maternity hospital in Argentina – with a Spanish exporter of construction services.

In the beginning

In March 2019, as part of a longstanding relationship between the Republic of Argentina and the wider Deutsche Bank Group, the Spanish Deutsche Bank SAE managed to close two significant deals in the Province of Cordoba.1 Less than a year later, a third mandate was also awarded to Spanish construction company, Eductrade SA for the construction of a maternity hospital (Hospital Provincial Nueva Maternidad Felipe Lucini). This deal was structured with the support of CESCE.

The hospital construction programme had been approved by the Province of Cordoba in 2018, and then endorsed by the Federal Government of Argentina. When the Agencia Cordoba de Inversión y Financiamiento – Sociedad de Economía Mixta (ACIF SEM) put the project to build a new maternity unit in the province out to tender, Eductrade had approached Deutsche Bank’s STEF team to work on the construction/financing proposal. Argentina is a core market for Eductrade, where it has developed multiple social impact projects for the past 25 years.

Economic and social background

Cordoba is one of the largest provinces in Argentina, representing roughly 7% of the national economic output and 13.9% of the country’s exports. It has a diversified economy, producing a variety of primary and industrial goods, as well as providing a variety of services, with agriculture representing about 23% of its GDP, followed by commerce (18%), manufacturing (15%) and real estate (10%).

The project was included under the umbrella of the New Hospitals and Medical Equipment Program for the Province of Cordoba, which aims to improve access and expand coverage of high quality health services for citizens by providing them with new hospital infrastructures and medical equipment.

Cordoba maternity hospital

Construction of the Hospital Provincial Nueva Maternidad Felipe Lucini underway in Cordoba Province

It is being constructed on a three-hectare site in the Pablo Pizzurno State, Vélez Sársfield Avenue, and will have an area 13,700 square metres of roofing. The execution of the project by ACIF SEM will directly benefit a population of over 600,000 in the area southeast of the city.

The social impact of the maternity facility, along with the medical equipment embodied in the commercial contract, is huge. At 14,300m2, the facility replaces the former 100 year-old maternity unit and accommodates two new special baby care units, more than 50 incubators, over 150 in-patient beds and five operating theatres that will make it possible to perform 2,500 surgeries per year and reduce referrals to other centres.

4,000 babies and counting

The transaction was celebrated at Deutsche Bank’s internal Sustainable Deal of the Year Awards 2020 that saw more than 60 entries from across the Bank in 10 different categories. This deal won the Structured Trade and Export Finance section, and among those shortlisted, it was finally voted by the employees as Sustainable Deal of the Year 2020.

This award was promoted by the senior management of the Corporate Bank Stefan Hoops and Gerald Podobnik, setting the ESG practices at the centre of the organisation. Eduardo Mas, Director of Structured Trade and Export Finance at Deutsche Bank Madrid told flow he was “delighted” to have won the award, not least because it demonstrates how different organisations working together towards the same goal really does deliver positive impact to the local economy.

Praveena Rai “We feel proud to belong to Deutsche Bank when it comes to giving our best for the good of others”
Eduardo Mas, Director of Structured Trade and Export Finance, Deutsche Bank Madrid

He reflects, “This award is the opportunity we have as bankers to tell the world that banks are part of the solution to have a more social, enjoyable and healthy planet; and that we feel proud to belong to Deutsche Bank when it comes to giving our best for the good of others”. His colleague Jürgen Ziegler added, “ESG is part of our core discussion with our clients. And thanks to the joint efforts of our franchise, over 4,000 babies per annum will see the light in a hospital that now will have NICUs, video operating rooms, postpartum attention, and access to medical service.”

The client, Secretario de Financeiamiento en Ministerio de Finanzas (Vice Minister of Finance) at the Province of Cordobo, Roque Spidalieri, recorded his appreciation of the work that went into the deal in the following video comment after CESCE had advised the Ministry that the transaction had won this Sustainable Deal of the Year Award. He said, “We are very happy you have selected such an important project for the Province. We are very grateful to Deutsche Bank for all the support and hope we can continue to strengthen the relationship we have built in the future.”

Summary of deal

Borrower Province of Cordoba, Argentina
Exporter Eductrade, SA (Spain)
Guarantor Republic of Argentina
Deutsche Bank role Sole mandated lead arranger and agent
Loan details

CESCE buyer credit: €59,425,735.30
Commercial credit: €8,027,202.49
Total: €67,452,937.80

Use of proceeds Construction and equipment of a maternity hospital in Argentina

CESCE buyer credit: 11.5 years
Commercial loan six years


1 See https://bit.ly/3rTp1yI at db.com

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