Johannesburg, South Africa, May 3, 2016—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, today announced an investment of $25
million in First National Bank Zambia to increase access to finance for
small and medium-sized businesses and the agriculture sector in support
of inclusive economic growth.
Half of Zambia’s population of 15 million
live in rural areas, where formal employment is scarce and poverty is high.
One of the main constraints on economic growth is the lack of finance for
small-scale businesses, with 28 percent of Zambian firms citing a lack
of credit as their top operational constraint (2013 Zambia Enterprise Survey).
The IFC loan will enhance FNB Zambia’s capacity
to significantly increase its lending to small and medium-sized enterprises
and export-oriented agribusinesses, in support of the bank’s strategy
to become the country’s leading bank for SMEs and the agribusiness sector.
Johan Maree, CEO FNB Zambia, said, “We are
excited that this facility will further support our focus on the SME and
agriculture sectors that are key in addressing the country’s challenges
of poverty and unemployment. As FNB Zambia, we are committed to supporting
our customers achieve their aspirations and to playing a leading role in
support of Zambia’s development agenda through provision of innovative
products and services that support the growth of local businesses and help
to create a better world.”
Oumar Seydi, Director, Sub-Saharan Africa,
said, “By supporting the small business sector and agricultural sector,
our support to FNB Zambia will contribute to the country’s efforts to
improve its resilience and diversify the economy, which is especially important
in economically challenging times.”
FNB Zambia is a wholly owned subsidiary of
First Rand Group South Africa and started operating in 2009. It has 21
points-of-presence around the country, 770 staff and about 190,000 clients.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is
the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where
it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries
rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential
role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org