Business & Economy - National - News - December 8, 2022

IFC, FSDH seal $35m deal to support Nigerian businesses


To make credit facilities available to support medium-scale businesses in the emerging sectors of the Nigerian economy, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in partnership with FSDH Merchant Bank has announced the approval of a $35 million finance package.

The Managing Director, FSDH Merchant Bank, Bukola Smith, who disclosed this in Lagos said the facilities would come in two-folds, namely the WCS facility and the GTFP.

While the WCS facility would help FSDH to provide loans to local enterprises in Nigeria, especially those with foreign currency receivables, Smith said the GTFP, which is a functional trade finance tool, would enable FSDH to support its numerous Trade Finance customers, to open them up to access any opportunity across the globe.

Smith said the two facilities would help to reduce the trade finance gap In Nigeria by making financial resources available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the industrial sector.

Also, he said the GTFP would guarantee up to 100 percent of non-payment risks arising from letters of credit and similar trade finance instruments issued by FSDH under the guarantee portion.

This, he said, would allow confirmation of trade transactions originated by FSDH, to benefiting local import and export businesses.

The country, he said, has continued to suffer significant foreign exchange constraints in the economy, since the pandemic, adding that the deal would help to further ameliorate foreign exchange liquidity in the market.

Besides, the IFC- a member of the World Bank Group, had established a leading position promoting private sector investment in Africa.

”In nearly six decades, the Group has invested more than $60 billion in African businesses and financial institutions, with a portfolio currently in excess of $12 billion.

“With this deal, the IFC is supporting FSDH’s drive to scale Small and Medium Enterprise – SME financing in the country which according to a 2022 survey by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), contributes up to 43.31 percent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product,” the Bank said in a statement.

The statement said the bank recently announced its operations in new segments – agriculture, technology funding solutions, healthcare financing, business banking, as part of FSDH’s commitment to further support the growth of the emerging sectors.

Already, the bank said it also launched a “Women in business desk” that would give female-led and female-founded businesses access to finance, market network, and mentorship under its flagship “Women in Business Initiative”.

“We are committed to our mission of empowering businesses and partnering with them to achieve sustainable success, the IFC facility brings us closer to the actualization of that mission.

“It avails us the right capital from a reputable partner at such a crucial time. Also, partnering with a credible, leading global funder like IFC is a boost for our credibility and viability as an institution.

“We are well positioned and on course to reach various segments in the emerging economy through our different interventions in growing sectors like health, agriculture, technology, renewable energy and the female economy.”

The bank said it would not relent in ensuring success of its clients, saying it was committed to its clients, partners, and ultimately, the growth of the economy at scale.

The FSDH had continued to deliver an excellent track record of innovative financial and investment solutions, providing a one-stop array of financial services to its customers.

Earlier this year, FSDH, announced a N3.8 billion agreement with African Guarantee Fund to scale up its business portfolio, in addition to the deal to further boost the bank’s credibility and enhance its customer base.

Also, the bank recently announced a $25 million Trade Finance Facility with African Development Bank to provide loan and import finance facilities to growing enterprises in Nigeria. (NAN)

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