Access Bank to support MSMEs with $162.5m loan

Access Bank Plc on Monday said it had signed a subordinated syndicated loan agreement worth $162.5m (N58.18bn) to promote growth and job creation by supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

The bank’s spokesman, Abdul Imoyo, said in a statement in Lagos that the facility was arranged by FMO, a Dutch development bank, and was provided together with BIO, a Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries.

Others include Blue Orchard Microfinance Fund, CDC Group plc, DEG (Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH), Finnfund (Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd), Oikocredit (Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society U.A).

European Financing Partners S.A, funded by the European Investment Bank, is acting on behalf of the European Community and Norfund (Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries).

According to the bank, FMO acted as the mandated lead arranger and will be the facility agent.

It said the facility would qualify as tier-II capital, which would enable Access Bank to roll out its five-year strategy of becoming Africa’s gateway to the world.

Access Bank noted that part of the strategy was also to deepen the footprint in the retail segment as well as increasingly support local MSMEs.

It said this would thereby support job creation in the Nigerian economy.

Speaking on the transaction, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, said the management was pleased to have worked with a world-class group of lenders on the transaction.

“The deal further reinforces the fact that our institution remains globally respected and reputable,” he said.

According to him, the syndicated facility is geared towards supporting the bank’s efforts to promote the growth and job creation potential of the private sector through improved access to financing.

Wigwe said, “Additionally, specific attention will also be paid to strengthening Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises as many have been held back due to a lack of access to finance.

“We believe this relationship will be the beginning of many more international partnerships with such entities.”

The Chief Investment Officer at FMO, Linda Broekhuizen, said FMO was proud to be the mandated lead arranger for this landmark transaction.

Broekhuizen said, “Through this transaction, FMO strengthens its long-standing relationship and commitment to our well-reputed client Access Bank.

“All lenders are pleased to be significant contributors to fostering the Nigerian economy and supporting job creation.”


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