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UK’s Impact Investor Gives Ecobank $50m for African Trade

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Ecobank Nigeria

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The United Kingdom’s Development Finance Institution and impact investor, CDC Group, has approved a $50 million trade finance facility for Ecobank International (EBI SA), the Paris based member of the Ecobank Group.

The loan would enable the lender to provide further support for African trade, especially at a time the businesses need funds to be able to unlock the several opportunities in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

But the facility was given to Ecobank to support businesses across the continent, which have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global health crisis has had a significant adverse effect on trade flows, business operations and jobs in Africa’s markets. This CDC facility will support the continent’s economic recovery and is expected to generate between $70 million to $140 million in additional trade annually.

The investment will enhance the import of essential goods, commodities and capital equipment, while also helping to expand access to goods and services in general.

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“Our partnership with Ecobank presents an opportunity for CDC to provide trade support where it is most needed.

“Keeping trade flowing across the continent is a key objective in CDC’s COVID-19 response, and we are thrilled that our patient capital can support businesses that are at the centre of economic activities in our markets.

“We remain committed to playing our part in closing the trade finance gap in Africa, by helping to facilitate business and job growth, and building resilience for the long term,” the Director, Head of Trade & Supply Chain Finance, CDC Group, Admir Imami, said.

Also speaking, the Ecobank Group Executive Corporate and Investment Banking, Akin Dada, disclosed that, “Our partnership with CDC to enhance finance and capacity comes at a crucial time in Africa’s history with much-needed recovery from the challenges of COVID-19 and the immense trade and investment opportunities being created by the AfCFTA.

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“We welcome the opportunity to work with development finance institutions such as CDC to help realise Africa’s potentials and sustainably drive its economic development.”

Also, the acting Managing Director at EBI SA, Jean Erwin NIZET, said, “This partnership with CDC will allow EBI SA to provide further support for African trade.

“In this challenging COVID-19 environment, this represents an important step in increasing Ecobank’s trade capacity and better serve its clients in Africa. This will ensure that Ecobank continues to contribute to the creation of value and sustainable growth across the continent.”

EBI SA, the international subsidiary of Togo-based Ecobank Group, is regarded as an ideal partner to boost CDC’s impact across Africa and help strengthen financial support for local banks and the businesses that they serve.

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With the Ecobank Group’s extensive footprint and operations across 33 countries on the continent, the facility will broaden economic opportunities and inclusive growth, particularly in markets such as Togo, Burkina Faso and Chad.

The trade finance risk-sharing facility will meet the liquidity needs of local African banks at a crucial time especially with the economic impact of the pandemic.

By committing capital to address these shortfalls, CDC is taking on additional risk and providing further credit support and trade finance lines to local banks, thus protecting commerce across the continent.

The facility contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals Zero Hunger (SDG 2) and Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8).

Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.

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Banking

Piggyvest Acquires Wealth Management App, Savi.ng

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Piggyvest Acquires

By Adedapo Adesanya

Top savings startup, Piggyvest, has acquired Savi.ng, a wealth management app that allowed users to save via various features like automated savings, fixed deposits, joint savings and PAYE.

This means that all existing Savi.ng users will be automatically migrated to Piggyvest and will continue the good work savi.ng team has started.

Explaining the build-up to the acquisition, Piggyvest revealed that it had spent the last six months preparing – laying foundations, building partnerships needed for the next phase of our growth.

“We have spent the last 6 months preparing —The first half of 2021 has been an intense building period for the entire Piggyvest team.

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“Earlier this year, we began discussions to acquire a savings and investment company, Savi.ng and all its assets and we are more than proud to announce today that the acquisition is now completed,” it disclosed.

The company noted that 2020 was an incredible year as it saw tremendous growth even in a pandemic year as it paid N90 billion to users in the course of the year.

The company noted that so far surpassed this number already in the first half of 2021 and this necessitated the need to expand with the acquirement of the savings and investment company.

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It noted, “We will continue to provide you with the best savings and investment options that we can, and you will continue to be part of a community of 3 million people (and counting!) in the Piggyvest family.

“All existing Savi.ng users will be automatically migrated to Piggyvest and we’ll continue the good work the savi.ng team has started. Our vision remains the same: financial freedom for all, and with this acquisition, we are a step closer.

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“We believe in a connected ecosystem and our mission to give everyone the power to better manage and grow their finances remains ever strong.

“Our parent company, Piggytech Global Limited, continues to grow with a suite of consumer-focused finance products. We will continue to announce them as the year moves along.

“This announcement is one in a long line of announcements, improvements and updates that we will have for you as we continue in 2021.”

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Banking

Fitch Affirms AfDB’s AAA Credit Rating

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AfDB Board

By Adedapo Adesanya

The global credit rating agency, Fitch Ratings, has affirmed the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) credit rating at “AAA”, with a stable outlook.

Fitch said the triple-A rating was driven by the extraordinary support of the bank’s shareholders.

Fitch said it views the bank’s risk-management policies as conservative and assesses them as excellent, in line with AAA-rated peers.

“Concentration risk is low, with the bank’s five largest exposures accounting for 32 per cent of total banking portfolio at end-2020,” Fitch said.

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The Vice President for Finance and Chief Finance Officer of the African Development Bank, Mr Bajabulile “Swazi” Tshabalala said, “the affirmation of the bank’s triple-A ratings by Fitch, recognizes the very strong shareholder support our institution benefits from, as well as its strong capitalisation and risk management capabilities.

“The affirmation also speaks to the importance of the Bank’s public policy mandate, particularly during these very challenging times.”

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The global rating agency assessed the bank’s overall exposure to risks as ‘Low,’ balancing ‘Moderate’ credit risk with ‘Excellent’ risk management policies, ‘Low’ concentration, and ‘Very Low’ equity and market risks.”

Commenting on the Fitch rating report, the AfDB President, Mr Akinwumi Adesina, said: “The African Development Bank welcomes the affirmation of the bank’s ‘AAA’ rating, with a stable outlook, despite enormous challenges posed by COVID-19.

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“The bank will continue to enhance its policy and fiscal relevance in support of regional member countries, as they contend with the global and regional repercussions of the pandemic.

“While helping African economies reposition their economies in a COVID-19 environment, we will also maintain our prudential ratios and adequate buffers.”

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Banking

15 Fidelity Bank Customers Share N39m in GAIM Promo

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15 Fidelity Bank Customers

By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel

No fewer than 15 Fidelity Bank customers have gone home with N39 million in the Get Alert in Millions (GAIM 4) Season 4 savings promo of the financial institutions.

Two of the 15 lucky winners received N10 million each at the 6th/final draw of the campaign held last Thursday in Lagos in the presence of representatives of the National Lottery Commission and Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

The two latest two-digit millionaires; Sunday Okeke of Matori Branch Lagos and Justine Nwaozor of Suleja Branch, Niger State, emerged as star prize winners of the promo.

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According to Fidelity Bank, the duo and other winners were picked through a randomised and transparent draw system observed by the lottery and federal competition officials as well as officials of the bank.

Some of them were the Divisional Head of Product Development, Fidelity Bank Plc, Richard Madiebo; the Head of Savings Group, Fidelity Bank Plc, Ukpai Ibe; the Executive Director, Lagos & Southwest, Fidelity Bank Plc, Dr Ken Opara; amongst others.

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The cash prizes were in the categories of N10 million, N3 million, N2 million and N1 million. In addition, 18 consolation prizes of television sets, fridges and generators were given out during the draws.

The GAIM savings promo is one of the bank’s many initiatives aimed at rewarding new and existing customers for their consistent loyalty and patronage and promoting the culture of saving among Nigerians.

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It would be recalled that the promotion was halted in 2020 due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the resulting global lockdown.

However, the resumption of the savings promo, according to the organisers, was an opportunity to enrich the lives of its customers even in times of economic uncertainties.

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