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Equity inks Ksh. 11 billion SME deal

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Equity Group Holdings has signed a Kshs 11 Billion (US $100 million) loan facility with Team Europe, Germany’s DEG, the Netherlands FMO and the UK’s CDC Group in its continued commitment to strategically walk with MSMEs during the three years the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bank has launched an approach to support customers to sustain themselves while innovating alongside MSMEs who are leveraging on the opportunities that have presented within the crisis.

The Group has committed to loan repayment accommodation for up to 45% of the customers whose cashflows and operation cycle were deemed likely to be negatively impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Equity made the prudent decision to ensure cashflow was not impaired and in its third-quarter 2020 results. The bank reported a 30% growth in its loan book in support of its customers who saw opportunities of green shoots and diversifications in the COVID-19 environment. Most of the new opportunities funded were in manufacturing of PPE’s, logistics, online businesses, agro-processing, fast moving consumer goods and agriculture value chains.

As development finance institutions DEG, CDC Group and FMO invest to support the social and economic development of countries across Africa. Supporting MSMEs is a long-term priority particularly as the segment remains under-financed and in need of patient capital. The partnership is testament to the Development Finance Institution (DFI) community’s strategy of working closely together to support more private sector businesses, scale impact and improve millions of livelihoods.

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic started as a health crisis, and quickly became an economic and humanitarian crisis that has seen more than 40% of Kenyan micro, small and medium business owners affected by the great economic slowdown. Equity’s goal is to keep the lights of the economy on to sustain lives and livelihoods and facilitate the recovery of businesses as the economy begins to reopen. The syndicated facility indicates cross-cutting trust on Equity’s ability to manage a sophisticated financing mechanism. We value our long-term partnership with DEG, FMO and CDC. The three development banks recognize the critical role that Equity plays in promoting access to finance for MSMEs,” Dr. James Mwangi, Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings Plc. said.

“DEG is delighted to realize further financing for Equity Bank, together with our European partners CDC and FMO. Through our cooperation, we are contributing to supplying local SMEs with credit, which is particularly important and in-demand at present,” commenting on the transaction, Christiane Laibach, CEO of the DEG Management Board said,

“As an inclusive regional financial institution, these facilities strengthen Equity’s position to further enhance the capacity of MSMEs who key actors in value chains and ecosystems in the economy are. By ensuring their survival and growth, the MSMEs will continue to protect jobs, create more employment and support lives and livelihoods in society,” said Dr. Mwangi.

This is the fourth tranche for Equity Group after having signed a $50 million USD (Kshs 5.5 Billion) loan facility with IFC in September; a $100 million USD (Kshs 11.0 Billion) from PROPARCO in October and a EUR 125 million (Kshs 16.5 Billion) loan facility signed last week with the European Investment Bank to fortify credit flows and liquidity to MSMEs totaling Kshs 44 Billion.

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