Gulf African Bank inks IFC advisory deal for SME lending


Gulf African Bank offers financing to SMEs to acquire properties, equipment and fund working capital. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is offering technical advisory services to Gulf African Bank to help it lend more to small and women-owned enterprises.

The advisory will cost $368,016 (Sh37 million) and is the latest such undertaking with local banks. Other banks that have signed similar deals with the international financier include Co-op Bank #ticker:COOP and Equity Bank #ticker:EQTY.

“The IFC advisory services project with Gulf African Bank is expected to increase access to finance opportunities for the local SMEs including women in Kenya,” the global financier said in a disclosure.

“The SME sector plays a very important role in creating jobs and fostering sustainable economic growth.”

IFC says the project will focus on competency assessment, opportunity sizing and product programme development for SME banking.

The institution defines SMEs using various measures including firms having between 10 and 300 employees or annual sales of Sh10 million to Sh1.5 billion. The loan size per borrower usually ranges from Sh1 million to Sh200 million.

Gulf African Bank, an Islamic lender, offers financing to SMEs to acquire properties, equipment and fund working capital.

The minimum loan size for mortgages, for instance, is Sh2 million, according to the lender’s website. The company also offers banking dedicated to women.

Equity is also tapping IFC’s expertise to better serve its base of SME customers besides developing new products for this group of customers.

Co-op Bank is getting IFC’s input in a Sh243.6 million deal to help the lender expand its digital banking.