NMB, Rabobank pool resources to finance banks across Africa
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