NMB, Rabobank pool re­sources to fi­nance banks across Africa

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Bianca Mlilo Busi­ness Re­porter

NMB Zim­babwe (NMBZ) Bank share­hold­ers have joined forces with Rabobank of Nether­lands to pool in­vest­ments in fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions across Africa.

The new com­pany formed out of the part­ner­ship will be called Arise.

Banco Mon­tepio, a Por­tuguese fi­nan­cial group with bank­ing in­vest­ments in Africa, is ex­pected to join the part­ner­ship in the near fu­ture.

Nor­fund (form Norway), FMO ( The Nether­lands) and Rabobank, in a joint state­ment, said their team­ing up re-af­firmed their long-term com­mit­ment to Africa’s fu­ture devel­op­ment, growth po­ten­tial and the lo­cal fi­nan­cial sec­tor.

NMBZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Mr Ben­e­fit Washaya has wel­comed the part­ner­ship, which, he said, would en­able NMBZ to ben­e­fit from a wide net­work of other African banks that are part of the group.

“NMBZ is ex­cited and wel­comes this part­ner­ship as an im­por­tant share­holder for our com­pany and as an im­por­tant con­trib­u­tor to build­ing a stronger fi­nan­cial sec­tor in Sub­Sa­ha­ran Africa. NMBZ will also ben­e­fit from a wide net­work of other African banks that are part of this group,” he said.

The goal of the part­ner­ship is to build strong, lo­cally owned fi­nan­cial ser­vice providers (FSPs) that serve small and medium en­ter­prises (SMEs), the ru­ral sec­tor and clients who have not pre­vi­ously had ac­cess to fi­nan­cial ser­vices.

The new part­ners said that as a pro-ac­tive share­holder they would en­gage in a hands-on man­ner with NMBZ to help it grow and re­alise its am­bi­tions.

The part­ner­ship was com­mit­ted to strength­en­ing and de­vel­op­ing ef­fec­tive in­clu­sive fi­nan­cial systems in Africa with a long-term per­spec­tive, they said.

Com­ment­ing on the pro­posed part­ner­ship, Nor­fund chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mr Kjell Roland said the es­tab­lish­ment of Arise would con­trib­ute to the fi­nan­cial sec­tor in Africa on a scale far be­yond what Nor­fund could achieve on its own.

“Part­ner­ing with ex­pe­ri­enced like-minded in­vestors such as FMO and Rabobank will en­sure that Arise ben­e­fits from ex­cel­lent bank­ing, tech­ni­cal and man­age­rial ex­per­tise,” he said.

“This part­ner­ship will in­crease the avail­abil­ity of fi­nan­cial ser­vices to small and medium en­ter­prises. Above all, it will al­low the peo­ple in Sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa to em­power them­selves by get­ting bank ac­counts and tak­ing loans and hence build­ing a bet­ter life for their fam­i­lies,” FMO chief ex­ec­u­tive, Nanno Kleit­erp, said.

Rabobank ex­ec­u­tive board mem­ber Berry Mart­tin said Rabobank’s ac­tiv­i­ties in in­vest­ing and build­ing strong fi­nan­cial ser­vice providers in emerg­ing economies, es­pe­cially Sub­Sa­ha­ran Africa, fit its bank­ing for food strat­egy, which is fo­cused on cre­at­ing solutions with its clients to feed the world in 2050.

Arise will have a pres­ence in 20 African coun­tries and cap­i­tal will be al­lo­cated to sup­port cur­rent in­vestee com­pa­nies as well as new mi­nor­ity in­vest­ments in the mar­ket.

FMO is one of the largest bi­lat­eral pri­vate sec­tor devel­op­ment banks in the world with a com­mit­ted port­fo­lio of EUR 9,3 bil­lion span­ning 85 coun­tries. Nor­fund, on the other hand has a port­fo­lio of ap­prox­i­mately $1,8 bil­lion, 53per­cent of which is in Sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa.

They cur­rently hold stakes in sev­eral fi­nan­cial ser­vice providers (FSPs) in Sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa, which they have agreed to pool to­gether. — @Bian­caMlilo.

NMB branch in Bu­l­awayo

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