Gaborone, Botswana, August 17, 2007
— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will invest $20 million to
help ABC Holdings diversify and expand its regional operations. This will
boost the company’s goal to help develop Africa’s financial markets significantly.
IFC’s investment will consist of a 10 percent equity stake of ABC Holdings’
issued share capital. The remainder will comprise a loan that may be convertible
to common shares. The holding company will use the proceeds of the loan
to increase the capital of its subsidiaries in Botswana, Mozambique, and
Zambia. This is subject to shareholder approval at a general meeting in
Gaborone on September 21, 2007.
“As a proud African group with a passion for creating wealth for all our
stakeholders, we are excited about building a collaborative partnership
with an organization whose vision aligns with ours,” said Oliver Chidawu,
Chairman of ABC Holdings. “In addition to boosting our financial resources
and enhancing our capacity to handle larger transactions, this agreement
gives us access to a strong intellectual resource base that will
accelerate our progress in achieving our vision – to be an institution
that delivers world-class, financial solutions for Africa.”
IFC will work with ABC Holdings and its subsidiaries to create an African
benchmark that improves corporate governance and risk management. IFC’s
advisory work will aim to help the banking group develop its operations,
diversifying products in such areas as mortgage lending to reach a larger
number of clients across the region.
“Improving access to finance for individuals and businesses is one of
the key components of IFC’s strategy in Sub-Saharan Africa’s financial
markets,” said Jyrki Koskelo, IFC Director for Global Financial Markets.
“Partnering with ABC Holdings will enable us to work together to achieve
this important goal.”
The financial architecture of many African countries remains weak and is
often dominated by foreign banks. ABC Holdings, one of the few locally
owned regional banking groups, can help bridge this gap by expanding and
strengthening institutions that provide specialized financial services
such as investment banking, asset financing, and asset management. These
are key areas in developing capital markets and providing sustainable financing
to the private sector.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth
in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing
capital in the international financial markets, and providing advisory
services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people
have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY06,
IFC committed $8.3 billion, including syndications, to 284 investments
in 66 developing countries. For more information, please visit www.ifc.org.
About ABC Holdings
ABC Holdings, a brand name for African Banking Corporation, is a Botswana-registered
company with a primary listing on the country’s stock exchange. It also
has a secondary listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. The group has operations
in Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, as well as a representative
office in South Africa.