Lusaka, Zambia, July 15, 2010 —
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will invest in Zambia National Commercial
Bank PLC (Zanaco) to help increase access to finance for smaller entrepreneurs
and agribusiness companies, which contribute a significant portion of Zambia’s
economic output, the two institutions announced today.
Zanaco will use the $25 million senior
loan from IFC to increase products and services that target small and medium
enterprises, especially in the agricultural sector. It will also expand
its lending in less developed and rural regions of Zambia, where many entrepreneurs
and businesses face difficulties accessing finance, and raise its environmental
and social standards.
Mark Wiessing, Zanaco’s Managing Director,
said “Zanaco has an extensive network of branches across all of Zambia
and a track record of developing new products and services to reach Zambian
businesses. Working with IFC will enable Zanaco to more easily extend longer-term
loans to clients and contribute significantly to supporting the expansion
of Zambia’s growing private sector.”
Rachel Kyte, IFC Vice President for
Business Advisory Services, said, “IFC is committed to helping build a
more inclusive financial sector in Zambia by increasing access to finance
for smaller businesses, including in the agribusiness sector. IFC hopes
to build on our strong relationship with Zanaco to also increase financing
to other important sectors of Zambia’s economy, such as infrastructure
The investment builds on an existing
partnership under which IFC and Zanaco are working together and with other
partners such as Rabobank and the Zambia National Farmers Union to help
train and increase access to finance for some of Zambia’s farmers.
Kyte is in Zambia on a two-day visit
to see how IFC can increase its investments and advisory services to support
the country’s sustainable economic growth. She is meeting with government
officials, private sector clients, and donors and development partners.
Saleem Karimjee, IFC Country Manager
for Southern Africa, said, “The Zambian economy has made excellent progress
in the past few years, and is presenting more and more opportunities for
IFC to engage in private sector development. I am delighted to announce
that IFC has decided to post a Senior Investment Officer in Lusaka. He
should be starting within the next few weeks.”
IFC’s strategy in Zambia focuses on
diversifying the economy by increasing the competitiveness of agribusiness,
manufacturing, and services sectors; working with the financial sector
to make it easier for small and medium businesses to access finance; promoting
private participation in power, telecommunications, and other infrastructure;
and helping improve the overall investment climate.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives.
We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting
private sector development, mobilizing capital for private enterprise,
and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments.
Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel
capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more
information, visit www.ifc.org.
Zanaco was created in 1969 by the government
of the Republic of Zambia. It was the first bank to explicitly target the
provision of financial services to all, in the belief that an economy cannot
grow sustainably and equitably if its population does not have access to
As a result, a growing and well diversified
customer base has allowed Zanaco to grow into one of the leading banks
in Zambia. The bank was partially privatized in 2007, with Rabobank of
the Netherlands buying a 49% stake in the bank from GRZ, and its mission
to be the bank for all Zambians in rural and urban areas continues unabated.
In 2008 the bank was listed on the Lusaka
Stock Exchange, thus successfully concluding one of Zambia’s largest privatizations,
and empowering Zambians of all walks of life, including the bank’s employees,
to become shareholders of their bank, and ensuring it remained “Citizen
Owned”. Zanaco is currently owned 46% by Rabobank, 25% by GRZ, while 29%
is held by local institutional and private investors and employees.