CBZ secures US$80m loan from Afreximbank to support exporters

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

CBZ secures US$80m loan from Afreximbank to support exporters 
CBZ Bank says it will continue to reconfigure and position its business model towards unlocking long-term value for its stakeholders. (File Picture)

Business Reporter

CBZ Bank has secured a US$80 million loan facility from the African Export-Import Bank to support trade financing for the country’s productive sectors of the economy as well as for capital expenditure financing.

The agreement was signed on Wednesday at the 31st Afreximbank Annual Meetings 2024 in the Bahamas.

In a joint statement, the parties said the facility had a tenure of three years with an option to roll over for another two years, and demonstrated the Afreximbank’s commitment to supporting African economies when such assistance is required.

According to CBZ, US$60 million will support prime exporters and SMEs involved in the export value chains across key sectors that require financing for asset or machinery acquisitions.

The facility will also support exporters and SMEs with working capital to facilitate inventory, supply chain, pre-export, and post-export business activities in Zimbabwe.

The balance of US$20 million will support the Afreximbank Trade Facilitation Programme Facility (AFTRAF), a non-funded line of credit to facilitate the issuance of guarantees and letters of credit.

“This line complements the funded line above, but targets and supports mainly the importers. Supporting both SMEs and large corporations in various sectors of the economy to facilitate trade using non-funded options such as guarantees and LCs.

“AFTRAF is set to capacitate trade facilitation in line with the expectations of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to regionally integrate Africa,” CBZ Bank said.

It was noted that the integration of Zimbabwe into the continent through trade finance products and services (AfCFTA) focuses on SMEs for financial inclusion, promoting local community development, and economic transformation through opening new markets for SMEs and capacitating them to become competitive locally and regionally. The integration will also result in job creation and the building of a resilient value chain in the face of global supply chain disruptions.

“This will also support export-generating industries to reduce the import bill, as well as key economic drivers such as mining, agriculture, manufacturing, and SME capacity building,” reads the statement.

In a trading update for the period ended March 31, 2024, the bank said its financial position remained strong as loans and advances to customers closed the March 2024 quarter at $7,12 trillion, anchored on a $16,99 trillion customer deposit base.

The group said it posted a strong financial performance, reporting a consolidated inflation-adjusted operating revenue of $1,42 trillion from a total revenue of $2,38 trillion.

“This strong performance was bolstered by sustained growth in customer numbers, deposits, transactional activity, and uptake of the group’s comprehensive product range,” said Mrs Rumbidzayi Jakanani, the group chief governance officer.

She said in the period under review, the insurance operations closed with a $108,64 billion insurance liability book supported by $50,09 billion in insurance and reinsurance assets.

“The group closed the period with a strong capital and asset base, coupled with a robust presence in digital channels, anchoring the group’s transactional volumes and values,” said Mrs Jakanani.

She added that the group continues to capitalise on its strong market presence, innovation drive, and customer-centric strategy to sustain its competitive edge.

The group said it will continue to reconfigure and position its business model towards unlocking long-term value for its stakeholders.

CBZ Holdings has the largest bank in the country, CBZ Bank, in terms of assets and deposits.

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