GTBank Kenya receives US$15m facility from IFC for SME lending

KENYA – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of The World Bank Group, has announced that it has extended a US$15 million loan to Guaranty Trust Bank (Kenya) Ltd, a subsidiary of the Guaranty Trust Group, for lending to local businesses in the country.

GTBank Kenya said it will provide access to finance mainly to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the trade, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing sectors, among others, helping them retain and create jobs, and strengthen their operations.

In a press statement, IFC said the facility is designed to support its existing IFC clients in emerging markets affected by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We hope to on-lend the facility to customers in the trade, FMCG, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical sectors primarily to fund working capital needs over the next year,” said Olabayo Veracruz, Managing Director, GTBank Kenya.

IFC’s loan to GTBank Kenya is part of the US$8 billion IFC Fast Track COVID-19 Facility launched in 2020.

Some of the Kenyan banks that have secured facilities from IFC most recently include I&M Bank and Equity Bank.

In January 2022, IFC said it will lend US$165 million to Equity Bank Kenya Limited, in addition to acquiring a 6.7% stake in Equity Bank for Kshs 13.9 Billion (US$122.5 million) shares that were previously held by Britam Holdings.

IFC will acquire 164.5 million shares directly from Equity and another 88.5 million shares through its IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund LP.

Arise B.V., backed by institutional investors Norfund, FMO, and Rabobank is the top shareholder in Equity Group with an 11.99 percent stake.

IFC had already lent Equity Bank KSh21.8 billion (US$192.1 million) as of December 2020, leading a list of development finance institutions that have backed the bank’s regional expansion.

“IFC is committed to supporting Kenya’s private sector, including strengthening its financial sector in order to help the country’s smaller businesses to access more financing,” said Amena Arif, IFC Country Manager for Kenya.

IFC’s investment portfolio in Kenya stood at US$940.1 million as of June 30, 2021, with most investments in the finance, manufacturing, agribusiness, and services sectors.

IFC is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries and it applies its financial resources, technical expertise, global experience, and innovative thinking to help its partners overcome financial, operational, and other challenges.

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