THE African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is disbursing an average of $500 million per annum through various financing facilities to Zimbabwe, a bank official has said.
Afreximbank senior director (finance) Philip Kamau told delegates at an investor conference in South Africa last week that the key facilities provided to Zimbabwe includes the CBZ diaspora bond for $60 million, Sable Chemical loan of around $40 million for fertiliser imports and Econet Wireless Zimbabwe.
In 2012, Econet got a syndicated loan of $307 million from a group of financiers, Afreximbank included.
The bank has also given Grain Marketing Board loans for grain imports, financed Zesa’s electricity imports from Mozambique.
“On average, total disbursement exceeded $500 million per annum and loans outstanding ranged between $250 million and $300 million at the end of each year over the past years.
Basically we have been giving Zimbabwe a lot of support in bigger amounts targeting sectors like the minerals sector, diamond exports, financial sector, cotton exports, telecoms sector, among many others,” Kamau said.
Kamau said currently the bank was working towards an initiative to support the Zimbabwean banking sector through a
$100 million Trade Debt-backed Securities Facility (AFTRADES) aimed at releasing some liquidity in the banking sector.
He said AFTRADES was aiming at unlocking the deposits held by the international banks in order to inject the much needed liquidity in the economy and the $100 million facility will be concluded before the end of the year.
In March, Afreximbank came up with a $100 million facility designed as a collateral swap whereby it will lend its securities to local banks in exchange for eligible collateral. The banking sector has been operating without an active interbank market under the multi-currency regime introduced in 2009 due to the absence of acceptable collateral.
Commenting on the Afreximbank loan facilities to Zimbabwe, Kamau said the key facilities provided under the first Zimbabwe programme included the $25 million grain import financing facility, $35 million gold export backed financing facility,
$100 million revolving import/exports Relay Trade Financing facility to Zimbabwean banks.
He, however, said under the enhanced programme, the facilities provided in support of the Zimbabwean private sector entities include $100 million for grains and oil import financing facilities, $150 million metals and minerals exports-backed facility, $50 million revolving guarantee in support of migrant remittances and Diaspora bond issuance, among others.
“The enhanced financing facility under the Second Country Programme was aimed at reorganising the various facilities to make them more directly supportive of the government’s priorities especially in relation to the achievement of economic stability.
Such prioritisation was important in order to make the Bank’s intervention more relevant and supportive of the country’s economic recovery programme,” he said.
He added that the bank has also provided export financing facilities in support of processing of goods for export including tobacco, metals, horticulture, cotton and manufactures and project financing in support of telecoms and export manufacturing and mining.
Kamau also told investors that in 2011, the Bank had put in place a $100 million Zimbabwe Economic and Trade Revival Facility (Zetref) for the purpose of supporting Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises to enable them contribute effectively to the country’s economic recovery.
The proceeds of Zetref were disbursed to selected Zimbabwean banks for on-lending to Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
“It is expected that 27 enterprises, about 400 people, will benefit directly from the facility and that beneficiary entities will help strengthen export manufacturing in Zimbabwe,” Kamau said.