NMB secures $15 million for SMEs
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