Equity Bank Secures $100 Million to Expand in East and Central Africa
AFDB facility will support Equity’s expansion in East and Central Africa and ensure MSMEs have access to capital to recover and thrive in a Post COVID-19 Environment.
The Kshs 11 Billion loan comes on the heels of an additional USD 50 Million (Kshs 5.5 Billion) Loan Facility from the African Guaranty Fund.
Equity Group Holdings (EGH) has signed a $100 million loan (Ksh 11 Billion, UG Sh3.6 trillion ) facility to support its expansion across Eastern and Central Africa, enhancing its ability to serve small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as it grows.
In addition to operating in 7 African countries – Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia – the Group has recently expanded its operations in the DRC by merging its existing operations of Equity Bank Congo with its acquisition of BCDC to form EquityBCDC, now the second largest financial services company in the country.
At the signing, Dr. James Mwangi, Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings said, “Together with the African Development Bank Group, Equity Group will be strongly positioned to support MSMEs to keep their lights on during the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic that has slowed down the economy impacting on the cashflows of enterprises.”
He said by extending credit to enterprises during this period, Equity is demonstrating its commitment to walk with its customers, and to empathize with their social economic situation brought about by the pandemic.
Dr Mwangi added, “We have seen the impact of pumping oxygen to our MSMEs during this period. They have been able to re-imagine, repurpose and retool their enterprises and emerged more resilient thereby protecting jobs and creating more job opportunities through venturing into more innovative initiatives such as manufacturing of internationally certified quality PPEs.”
The loan, a tier two facility with a seven-year maturity, is expected to promote EGH’s ability to offer bespoke products to MSMEs, strengthen its balance sheet and optimize its capital structure across the continent with a special focus on women and youth entrepreneurs.
“EGH has a strong track record of designing products suited to the needs of SMEs as well as emerging corporates. The timing of the facility’s disbursement could not have been more appropriate especially as businesses seek to remain operational in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic that is causing financial havoc,” said Stefan Nalletamby, AfDB’s Director for financial sector development. “We are very pleased to collaborate with EGH in playing a countercyclical role during this pandemic.”