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Ghana: Local companies to benefit from new EUR 20 million European lending programme with uniBank
The European Investment Bank, the European Union’s long-term lending institution, has agreed to provide EUR 10 million to uniBank Ghana to support investment by private business across Ghana that will be matched by uniBank to provide a total of EUR 20 million for local firms. The new lending programme will also help to further develop the financial sector in the country.
The European Investment Bank’s new lending agreement with uniBank Ghana is the third scheme to support investment in the country under a EUR 80 million credit facility launched in 2013 to improve access to finance by companies in Ghana. Earlier credit lines under the European Investment Bank initiative were agreed with Société Générale Ghana and Ecobank Ghana.
“Over the last 40 years the European Investment Bank has supported private sector investment across Ghana, both directly and in cooperation with local banks. The new engagement launched today with uniBank Ghana will build on the success of similar cooperation with leading banks across Africa and support important new corporate investment across the country. This significant new lending programme will both increase investment by the private sector and strengthen the role of local banks. The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting public and private sector projects that supports economic growth and improves lives across Africa.” said Pim Van Ballekom, European Investment Bank Vice President.
“We welcome and thank the EIB for the facility and also assure our customers that we are in a much stronger position to meet their banking and financial needs”. said uniBank Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Felix Nyarko-Pong.
“Today’s support of 10 Million EUR to uniBank, together with the facilities already provided to Société Générale and Ecobank to improve access to finance for SMEs are crucial, since SMEs are the backbone of Ghana’s economy and by far the biggest job provider in the country.” said EU delegation Ambassador William Hanna.
The new credit line by the European Investment Bank will allow uniBank Ghana to provide loans in both Euros and US dollars, with a tenor of up to 8 years. This represents a much longer maturity than typically available in Ghana. Lending under the scheme will support investment in agriculture, manufacturing, construction, transport, education and healthcare as well as reinforcing long-term investment by Ghanaian companies crucial for supporting economic growth, benefiting from new business opportunities and creating jobs. The European Investment Bank has agreed the new credit line with uniBank following a thorough due diligence process.
Alongside support for company investment, the European Investment Bank engagement will help improve the banking sector in Ghana through backing expansion of branch networks, IT systems and staff training within uniBank Ghana.
The European Investment Bank has provided nearly EUR 600 million to support public sector projects and private sector investment in Ghana since the first operation in 1976. This has included direct loans, credit lines with local banks and investment in smaller projects by private equity or microfinance funds. The EIB’s engagement has supported investment in several sectors including energy, industry, transportation, and financial sector.
Last year the European Investment Bank provided more than EUR 2.5 billion for public and private investment across Africa.