FCB pursues US$48 million offshore deals

So far, US$20 million lines of credit have been secured from the regional lender, according to FCB chief executive officer Tapera Mushoriwa.

VICTORIA Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX)-listed financial services outfit, First Capital Bank (FCB), is negotiating with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to secure US$48 million credit lines to support various sectors of the economy, businessdigest can report.

So far, US$20 million lines of credit have been secured from the regional lender, according to FCB chief executive officer Tapera Mushoriwa.

“The NGO sector is a critical segment for us as a bank,” Mushoriwa  said in a speech at the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) customer breakfast meeting recently. “We want to ensure that we are aligned always, and keep you informed on market developments that may impact your operations.

“The work that you extend to the communities we operate in brings critical economic development that promotes the global sustainability agenda. This is why as your bank, we are actively seeking opportunities that will amplify your work and bring you a quality banking experience.”

At a separate event at the 2023 Zimbabwe Independent Banks and Banking Survey and Awards ceremony held a fortnight ago, Mushoriwa said securing offshore finance to fund productive sectors was crucial, and in line with Zimbabwe’s growth plans.

But he said in doing so, the bank was aware of the need for sustainable banking.

Mushoriwa told banking sector leaders at the event, sponsored by FCB, that with its focus on growing sustainable finance, the bank was looking at unlocking value by tapping into new markets and extending services to existing clientele.

He said FCB was currently rolling out a unique sole trader account and various US dollar savings accounts that will provide much-needed support to the Zimbabwean market. He reiterated that as a “relevant financial partner”, FCB would continue to provide funding through strategic partnerships with offshore funders.

In his address to NGOs, Mushoriwa said: “We have actively cultivated 25 correspondent banking relationships for international banking services. US$48 million in potential offshore credit lines (are currently) under discussion with Afreximbank (and a) US$20 million facility has already been confirmed.

“We have a wide network of 25 branches offering universal services, 47 functional ATMs (automated-teller machines) to support this,” he said.

The bank announced this year that it was targeting to secure US$90 million worth of lines of credit from four offshore funders.

This comes as most of the €12,5 million (US$13,27 million) package that the bank previously secured from the European Investment Bank (EIB) has already been disbursed to the market. The funding was secured to develop eligible projects undertaken by small to medium enterprises and midcap companies.

Mushoriwa said the bank’s core capital was sitting at US$42 million, above the regulatory minimum of US$30 million.

He said FCB’s liquidity ratio was well above the regulatory minimum of 30%.

“We have an ability to leverage FMCH Group (FCB’s parent FMB Capital Holdings plc) resources across our five countries of operations. We paid our first US dollar dividend to all stakeholders after successfully listing on the Victoria Falls Exchange as the first bank,” he said.

Mushoriwa said the bank was looking forward to creating a mutually beneficial legacy with the NGO sector.

“In the near future, we will be deploying funds accessed from offshore credit lines: European Investment Bank, Afreximbank and others. We will grow the consumer lending business,” he said.

The bank, according to him, will also develop more relevant digital channels that will serve the needs of the customers, position the business for optimisation, and increase physical presence of banking operations in high potential locations in the retail market. FCB was ready to assist NGOs to transition to the new tax and revenue management system.

The regional bank has been looking for more ways to remain relevant in the inflationary environment with the hope that securing fresh lines will protect the balance sheet from inflation.

FCB is a subsidiary of FMB Capital Holdings plc, a financial services holding company based in Mauritius with banking operations in Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. It has been operational in the country after fully taking over Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Ltd in 2018.

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