ABC Bank and the European Investment bank have signed a Ksh. 554.8 million (Eur 5M) for onward lending to Kenyan small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The credit line from EIB is a top up of a previous Ksh. 770 million that ABC Bank received in 2012, which made ABC Bank the first local bank to enter in to a credit line agreement with the world’s largest international public bank to ease credit access for small and medium enterprises.
The agreement is part of EIB’s plans to provide Ksh 12 billion (EUR 110 million) for investment by SMEs across East Africa, making it the largest ever financial support for entrepreneurs in East Africa by the EU owned bank in the region.
ABC Bank will utilize the new facility to support growth in the SME and Agribusiness segments, which are instrumental in job creation and economic growth in Kenya by providing long-term and affordable credit.
The new programme will support job creation and economic growth in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi by providing long-term local and foreign currency loans and support investment across a range of sectors, including agriculture.
“We have effectively utilized the earlier facility in lending to our SME clients at competitive rates and for longer tenures. As a result, we have witnessed exponential growth in our customers’ businesses, which is in line with our mission of empowering customers to achieve the extra-ordinary’’, said ABC Bank Group Managing Director Shamaz Savani, adding that the new deal is a demonstration of the confidence that EIB has in ABC Bank, and that it will bolster the Kenyan lender’s capacity to continue lending to the SME segment to empower them to harness their market potential and contribute to the national economy.
ABC Bank has invested in the development of tailor-made products and increased its lending portfolio for the growing SME sector, which is crucial in enhancing entrepreneurship, economic growth, market competition, economy-wide efficiency, innovation and aggregate productivity as well as providing the economy with a continuous supply of ideas, skills, and innovations.
“Investment by small companies and entrepreneurs is essential for economic growth and to create jobs. The European Investment Bank is pleased to strengthen our support to ensure that East African companies can unlock new business opportunities and build on previous successful engagement with leading local banks. Since the EIB’s regional office for East and Central Africa opened 10 years ago professionalism and enthusiasm of the Nairobi based team has strengthened our support for entrepreneurs and small business across the region.” said Pim van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President.
Mr. Savani added: We are delighted by the new credit line, which comes at an opportune time when there is increased need for financing, especially within the SME and Agribusiness segments, which have in recent times become a key drivers of Kenya’s economy. We are confident that access to affordable financing through ABC Bank, thanks to this facility from EIB, will further unlock the entrepreneurial potential in the country and thus generate more job opportunities and aid in wealth creation.
- Saturday Nation, 12th December, 2015: http://www.nation.co.ke/
business/Regional-banks-share- Sh12bn-loan-to-bolster-SME- lending/-/996/2993298/-/ 97pkxlz/-/index.html
- The Star, 12th December, 2015: http://www.the-star.co.ke/