East African Entrepreneurs to Benefit from European Investment Bank $101 Million...

Apr 2017
East Africa, April, 10 2017 - The European Investment Bank has signed two new credit lines for East-Africa for a total of 95 million Euros (about Sh109 billion) to be made available through Equity Bank and HFC Limited to support smaller local projects in Tanzania, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda.

EIB Vice President Pim van Ballekom, responsible for operations in East Africa, said the credit lines signed will not only benefit people in Kenya, but are meant for people in neighbouring countries as well.

He said the EIB is committed to supporting Kenyan Banks in providing credit to the young and growing population in the region adding that Kenya is increasingly becoming a hub for the region on many levels and we as a Bank must look at this from a very basic point of view : there is a young and growing population with enormous potential, you need credit to support that momentum.”

He said the EIB signed a 75 million Euros (Sh165 billion) credit line with Equity Bank, under which funds are earmarked for three subsidiaries; 36 million Euros (Sh80 billion) for Equity Tanzania, 20 million Euros (Sh44 billion) for Procredit DRC and 19 million Euros (Sh41.8 billion) available through Equity Uganda.

On-lending will be available in US dollar or local currencies with the objective of contributing to job creation and poverty reduction and in In addition, Equity Group will benefit from a 2 million Euros (Sh4.8bn) technical assistance program funded by the EIB to support its strategy of transforming branches into SME business centres.

Equity Group managing director & chief executive officer Dr James Mwangi said ‘With this facility of 75 million Euros we will be in a position to support up to 1000 regional companies with an average loan of nearly Ksh10 million (about Tsh200 million) each thus assisting develop local entrepreneurs to compete at regional level furthering integration and cross border trade.”

Next to this, a 20 million Euros credit line under the EIB’s East and Central Africa Private Enterprise Finance facility was signed with HFC Limited. This line will help HFC in providing the much needed longer term financing to private enterprises and commercially operated public sector entities in productive sectors in Kenya, in line with EU and national development priorities.

In addition, HFC will benefit from EIB funded technical assistance plan aimed at strengthening capacity as per its strategy.

“I am proud to note that the success of the initial funding by EIB, has now brought more opportunities and we are happy to be recipients of another 20 million Euros, which is undoubtedly, an endorsement of the impact HFC is having on the SME sector. This new funding will be channelled towards financing the working capital and expansion of our growing SME customer base.” said Sam Waweru, HFC Managing Director.

Source : Asoko Insight

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