IFC has extended a loan to Guaranty Trust Bank (Kenya) Ltd, a subsidiary of the Guaranty Trust Group, for on-lending to local businesses in the country. The loan will be used to support local SMEs, including those with cash flows disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
GTBank Kenya will provide access to finance mainly to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the trade, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing sectors, among others, helping them retain and create jobs, and strengthen their operations.
IFC’s $15 million loan to GTBank Kenya is part of the $8 billion IFC Fast Track COVID-19 Facility launched in 2020. The facility is designed to support existing IFC clients in emerging markets affected by the economic fallout from COVID-19.
“The IFC loan will help the Bank meet the working capital and trade-related needs of businesses, especially SMEs that are part of our core clientele. These businesses were adversely affected by the pandemic and are now recovering and reviving as the economy opens up, therefore requiring the support of the Bank through access to credit,” said Olabayo Veracruz, Managing Director, GTBank Kenya. “We hope to on-lend the facility to customers in the trade, FMCG, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical sectors primarily to fund working capital needs over the next year.”
“IFC is committed to supporting Kenya’s private sector, including strengthening its financial sector in order to help the country’s smaller businesses to access more financing. Our partnership with GTBank Kenya will deliver funds to businesses, allowing them to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Amena Arif, IFC Country Manager for Kenya.
Pandemic-related disruptions caused Kenya’s real GDP to contract in 2020, with the country’s smaller businesses hit hard by supply chain disruptions and reduced economic activity. Although Kenya returned to pre-pandemic growth levels in 2021, 2022 is also proving challenging and smaller businesses still need added support to weather ongoing uncertainties.
IFC is committed to supporting Kenya’s long-term economic growth. IFC’s investment portfolio in Kenya stood at $940.1 million as of June 30, 2021 with most investments in the finance, manufacturing, agribusiness, and services sectors.