Dar's NMB to Become Farmer's Bank

Feb 2007
Tanzania, February, 05 2007 - Rabobank the Netherland's based Bank, has shown interest in transforming Tanzania's National Microfinance Bank (NMB) into a farmers bank. Rabobank-Nederland is the majority shareholder of a consortium which owns a 49% stake in the NMB bank while the government owns 51% shares.

Rabobank-Nederland is the majority shareholder of a consortium which owns a 49% stake in the NMB bank while the government owns 51% shares.

Last week, Tanzania's Industry, Trade and Marketing Minister Mr. Basil Mramba said in Dar es Salaam that the chairman of the executive board of Rabobank-Nederland, Mr. Bert Heemskerk, had directed NMB Tanzania managers to initiate programmes for the gradual transformation of the bank into a farmer's facility. Heemskerk met Tanzania's President Mr. Jakaya Kikwete a fortnight ago and discussed, among other things, agriculture revolution, the impact of debts and Aids in Africa, and World Trade Organisation (WTO) trade negotiations.

In August 2005, the Tanzania government approved the sale of 49% of government's shares in NMB to a consortium led by Cooperative Centrale Raiffeisen - Boerenleenbank B. A. (Rabobank) of the Netherlands.

The government approved the sale at a purchase price of US$29,400,000. Tanzanian members of the consortium include the National Investment Company Limited (NICO), TCCIA Investment Company Limited and Exim Bank (T) Ltd.

Rabobank is one of the strongest banks worldwide and has extensive experience in operating in a wide network similar to that of NMB. The bank provides financial services through a network of 328 local member banks, with 1,378 branches. It also operates 356 non-permanent offices and 2,981 ATMs.

At the time of taking NMB stakes, Rabobank expressed commitment to combat deficiencies in accessing financial services with primary focus on the rural areas.

The current development could be a good sign at fulfilling the promise.

Rabobank, the lead investor in the consortium, provides the management services to NMB and technical assistance for further development of NMB.

NMB is Tanzania's only bank with a countrywide network of more than 100 branches


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