CMI Capital: Sustainable Impact Investing in Central America

October 10 2022

CMI Capital is part of Corporacion Multi-Inversiones (CMI), a Central American family corporation that generates investment, employment and development across Latin America. Founded more than 100 years ago, CMI is now split into two business groups: CMI Foods and CMI Capital. CMI remains a family business even though we now employ more than 40,000 people across 16 countries. We maintain our core purpose through our corporate values ‘REIR’, which means ‘laugh’ in Spanish and stands for: Responsibility, Excellence, Integrity and Respect.

CMI Capital

We create impact investments that drive sustainable development. These investments are not just profitable, they also deliver measurable social and environmental benefits. The investments are focused on three core areas: energy, real estate and finance. Our work across these three business units is part of a sustainability strategy that delivers six of the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs): Clean Water and Sanitation; Affordable Clean Energy; Action for the Climate, Decent Work and Economic Growth; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; Sustainable Cities and Communities.

When we develop a project, we want to grow together with our partners, clients, suppliers and neighbouring communities. We also insist on being responsible, upstanding and honest citizens.

Energy

We are the largest, private renewable energy generation company in Central America and the Caribbean. We operate in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, generating more than 800MW with hydro, wind and solar energy. These power plants are large operations so we ensure they have a robust sustainability strategy based on four pillars: education, health, infrastructure and the environment. In total our renewable generation reduces C02 emissions by approximately 1,500,000 tonnes of C02 per year – helping to fight climate change.

Meanwhile ION Energy, our energy marketer, provides affordable renewable energy solutions to a diverse mix of industrial, commercial and service clients across Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico.

7 1

Real Estate Development

CMI Capital’s real estate developer, Multi-Proyectos has built and sold more than 1 million m2 of property in Guatemala. It has generated a positive impact investment of more than $500million, marketing 1,200 offices, 13 shopping malls, 10 office towers and 14 housing projects, which created homes for more than 4,000 families.

The real estate unit also has Pradera Shopping Malls, the largest network of shopping centres in Guatemala. It built, and now operates, 13 malls spread across eight of the country’s departments, with a special focus on the regional cities.

By creating safe public spaces these shopping malls have a positive social impact but they are also a driver for regional economies. Pradera houses approximately 600 companies, of which 90% are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In total these firms run more than 1,100 shops which generate 7,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Our Real Estate Development Unit invests in projects that have an impact contributing to the progress and well-being of Guatemalan families and local economies, giving us the opportunity to grow together.

Finance

We use our financial unit to make high-impact investments to low-income Guatemalans and SMEs and offer them alternative sources of funding. This promotes economic and social stability in the country.

7 2

Our investment bank, Cofinsa, recently formalized a new line of credit for $7million that was granted by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (Cabei). The project will allow SMEs that are suppliers of CMI to have access to working capital, which allows them to pay their own suppliers promptly which has a multiplier effect in the wider economy. They can also use the money to implement post-pandemic adaption measures or consolidate their existing debt portfolio. This line of credit should support 61 local SMEs and ten independent workers and deliver a financial benefit to 3,600 people in the country.

As an upstanding corporate citizen CMI Capital uses its finance unit to work towards the SDGs, specifically SDG8: “Decent work and economic growth”; and SDG 17: “Partnerships to achieve the goals”. The credit line does this by promoting constant, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and full and productive employment.

At CMI Capital, sustainability is a fundamental part of our business strategy as a distinctive element that gives us long-term, market permanence and relevance.

Originally published in Latam Investor