Capital Markets

Afrexim Bank to invest in Kenya-based companies

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Afreximbank headquarters in Cairo, Egypt. PHOTO | COURTESY | AFREXIMBANK

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Summary

  • Afrexim, which finances and promotes African trade, says it will work with both government and private sector to bankroll various projects in need of funding.
  • Afreximbank has in the past decade financed several local big-ticket deals, including debt to national carrier Kenya Airways.

The African Import and Export Bank (Afrexim Bank) wants to pump money into Kenyan firms in various sectors as the Pan-African lender eyes an increased role in the Kenyan economy.

Afrexim, which finances and promotes African trade, says it will work with both government and private sector to bankroll various projects in need of funding.

“We are looking at providing support in different areas,” said Afrexim director and global head of client relations Rene Awambeng.

Afreximbank has in the past decade financed several local big-ticket deals, including debt to national carrier Kenya Airways.

The regional lender focuses on private and public sector loans, guarantees and advisory services. Its range of financing programmes and advisory services include trade and project financing, and export development guarantees.

Uganda in 2019 reached a deal with Afreximbank to locate its regional headquarters in Kampala, ending a three-year bid to set it up in Nairobi after foot-dragging by Kenya. The regional trade bank had earlier said Kenya’s reluctance to grant it diplomatic status had forced the agency to woo Kampala.

Mr Awambeng said the regional office has helped the bank serve better its East Africa regional customers.

“The bank has a strategy to take its business closer to its people...The office has helped to improve assets in the region,” he said.

Afrexim last year in March created a $3 billion credit facility to help African countries overcome the effects of the pandemic.

The Business Daily has learned that Kenya did not utilise the facility, despite indicating initial readiness to tap it.

The Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility would help countries avoid trade payment defaults, support foreign exchange reserves and assist commodities exporters struggling with declining revenues.

"Africa is exposed on many fronts, including significant declines in tourism earnings, migrant remittances, commodity prices and disruption of manufacturing supply chains,” Benedict Oramah, president of the Cairo-based bank said at the time.

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