NCBA lends extra Sh1.5bn to Mauritius property firm

NCBA headquarters in Upper Hill, Nairobi. 

Photo credit: File | Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

NCBA Bank Kenya has lent $11.98 million (Sh1.56 billion) more to Mauritius' real estate firm Grit Services Limited in the half year ended December 2023.

The dollar-denominated credit facilities rose to $29.48 million (Sh3.84 billion) in December last year from $17.5 million (Sh2.28 billion) in June 2023. This facility has seen NCBA rise to account for 7.1 percent of the total borrowings by Grit's parent firm from 3.8 percent previously.

"The following debt transactions were concluded during the period under review including an increase in the Grit Services Limited corporate facility with NCBA Bank Kenya amounting to circa US$12 million used as an equity bridge," said Grit in their latest financial results.

The borrowings have been disclosed by Grit’s parent firm— Grit Real Estate Income Group— which has been expanding its investments in Kenya and other regional markets’ property sector.

Grit Services is the main subsidiary of the multinational whose assets in Kenya include Naivasha’s Buffalo Mall, the US embassy’s gated estate in Nairobi, Imperial Warehouse and Orbit Africa’s manufacturing facilities.

The property investor has a revolving credit facility with NCBA, allowing it to borrow, repay and borrow again on a rolling basis.

“Grit’s strategy continues to focus on quality real estate assets with strong ESG credentials and long leases in hard currency to a resilient and diverse multinational customer base across the African continent," said Bronwyn Knight, CEO of Grit Real Estate Income Group Limited.

The property developer has been aggressively expanding in the region following the opening of its Nairobi offices in Tatu City. It plans to build two hospitals in Kenya, giving it exposure to the healthcare sector as partners operate the facilities while it remains the landlord.

The World Trade Centre Hospital Phase 2 and the Redhill Hospital are part of a series of healthcare investments in Africa expected to cost over $350 million.

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