NMB se­cures $15 mil­lion for SMEs

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

REG­IS­TERED com­mer­cial bank NMB has se­cured a $15 mil­lion line of credit for lend­ing to small to medium en­ter­prises (SMEs) from two for­eign banks.

Devel­op­ment fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions FMO of the Nether­lands and Swed­fund of Swe­den have agreed to pro­vide NMB Bank with the fi­nanc­ing fa­cil­ity.

The loan agree­ment was signed on Mon­day in the Nether­lands.

The line of credit will stretch for four years and is in­tended to en­able NMB Bank to pro­vide much needed sup­port to Zim­babwe’s SME sec­tor.

The bank will par­tic­u­larly tar­get spe­cific dis­ad­van­taged groups by lend­ing to small or medium busi­nesses run by women.

NMB Bank chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Mr Gerald Gore, who signed the agree­ment on NMB’s be­half, said the fund­ing would help pro­mote Zim­babwe’s eco­nomic growth given the im­por­tance of SMEs to the coun­try’s econ­omy.

“We are ex­cited about this devel­op­ment. It will cer­tainly go a long way in sup­port­ing eco­nomic growth in the coun­try,” he said in a state­ment.

“SMEs are the back­bone of the Zim­babwe econ­omy and as NMB we have been ag­gres­sive in sourc­ing cheaper and long-term fi­nance to sup­port this crit­i­cal sec­tor of the econ­omy. Fur­ther­more, the line will also pro­vide the much-needed nos­tro funds to sup­port crit­i­cal im­ports by our cus­tomers.

“FMO has been sup­port­ing NMB for the past five years and we are ex­cited to have Swed­fund join them for this syn­di­cated loan.

“We be­lieve our strong share­holder pro­file and cor­po­rate gov­er­nance struc­tures make the bank an at­trac­tive op­tion for ex­ter­nal fun­ders.”

Swed­fund chief ex­ec­u­tive Ms Anna Ry­ott stressed the im­por­tance of job cre­ation and in­clu­sive growth, as well as of sup­port­ing busi­nesses run by women.

“We see this loan as a great way to sup­port NMB and par­tic­u­larly their im­por­tant work to tar­get SMEs, with spe­cial fo­cus on busi­nesses run by women. Job cre­ation and in­clu­sive growth will be cru­cial for com­ing devel­op­ment steps in Zim­babwe,” she said.

NMB Bank has been lever­ag­ing on its strong for­eign share­hold­ing to ac­cess lines of credit, mostly from for­eign devel­op­ment fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions (DFIs). FMO is one of the share­hold­ers in NMB Zim­babwe, the hold­ing group that owns NMB Bank.

Re­cently, FMO and Nor­fund, which is also a share­holder in NMB, de­cided to form a part­ner­ship with Rabobank, a Dutch bank. These three en­ti­ties will, through the cre­ation of a new en­tity Arise, com­bine their in­vest­ments in Africa. — @Bian­caMlilo

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