NMB Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed a new EUR12,5 million, 7-year facility to support business investment across Zimbabwe.
Representatives from both government and business attended the formal signing event in Harare. These included Bernard De Schrevel, Head of Agriculture, Private Sector and Trade of the European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe, Dr. John Mangudya, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, George Guvamatanga Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and Director Banking Supervision George Guvamatanga.
The lending agreements were signed by NMB Bank CEO Gerald Gore and European Investment Bank Representative to Southern Africa, Jim Hodges.
NMB Bank took this opportunity to communicate some of its intended plans with the facility. Speaking at the event, NMB Chief Executive, Gerald Gore said “The market has been starved of long term, fairly priced offshore credit facilities. This type of funding is key for our industries to retool, invest in new technologies and keep abreast with international trends in order to compete on the global arena.”
The line comes at a time NMB Bank has been working on growing its Agribusiness as well as the Portfolio of exporters, both, which play a critical role in the country’s economy. The Bank is working on supporting exporters in key sectors of the economy with the right type of funding. He further added that their focus for this line was to fund agriculture, horticulture and manufacturing exporting clients. “The facility is not necessarily restricted to current NMB Bank customers, but open to exporters who want to scale up production and even new companies that are export-orientated. The intention is to complement government’s efforts to promote exports and boost the country’s economy”, he said.
“The European Investment Bank is committed to working with local financial partners to enhance access to finance by Zimbabwean entrepreneurs and businesses. Unlocking investment is crucial to enable business expansion and address economic challenges enhanced by COVID-19. As part of Team Europe, the European Investment Bank is pleased to provide EUR 12.5 million of new targeted financing to NMB that will strengthen private sector investment, create jobs and accelerate the post-pandemic recovery of Zimbabwe. Today’s new agreement demonstrates how Team Europe and African partners are joining forces to back business growth.” said Jim Hodges, European Investment Bank Representative to Southern Africa.
“The EIB private sector facility with NMB comes right after yesterday’s signature for a similar arrangement with FCB and a year after the one agreed with CABS. Given the challenging economic environment we are pleased that more support will be locally available. The Zimbabwean private sector plays a big role in supporting employment, food security and access to export markets. Therefore, support for financial institutions and private sector enterprises creates an opportunity that has a significant impact on the lives of many citizens.” said Ambassador Timo Olkkonen, Head of the European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe.
Mr Gore explained how EIB had conducted a rigorous due diligence on NMB Bank and he was happy that EIB had expressed confidence that NMB Bank would both preserve their investment and partner with them on their developmental objectives. “Our main attraction to EIB is their developmental thrust as they seek to promote private investments in businesses that are economically viable, financially profitable, environmentally sustainable and socially equitable”
“In conclusion, allow me to once again express my sincere gratitude to the European Investment Bank, for partnering with Zimbabwe and specifically NMB Bank in spurring economic growth within the country”, Mr. Gore said.
The European Investment Bank, is the lending arm of the European Union and one of the largest lending institutions in the world. Its mandate is to further the objectives of the European Union by providing long-term project funding, guarantees, and advice. It also supports projects both within and outside the EU.
NMB Bank Limited is a registered commercial bank and the principal subsidiary of NMBZ, a Zimbabwean-based investment holding company listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.