African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has disbursed US$200 million to Zenith Bank Plc Nigeria under its Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA).
The funds will assist Zenith Bank to continue to maintain foreign currency trade flows impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They will also allow Zenith Bank to on-lend to eligible sub-borrowers involved in the manufacture and supply of medical resources needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the facility, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu said:
“The Afreximbank facility undoubtedly underscores the confidence reposed in Zenith Bank, and it will enable the bank to contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by providing trade finance and foreign currency funding for the importation of urgent medical equipment and raw materials.”
Zenith Bank Plc is Nigeria’s largest bank by Tier-1 capital. The bank serves more than 9 million corporate and individual clients through its network of over 500 branches across Nigeria and its subsidiaries in the Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom. It also has a representative office in Beijing China, and Dubai (UAE) a branch of Zenith Bank UK.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said:
“The Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) is designed to support and stabilize the foreign exchange resources of African countries, enabling them to support critical imports under emergency conditions. We are pleased to contribute to keeping economies going especially during this pandemic.
The role that banks such as Zenith Bank play in Africa is huge. Supporting them to carry out their mandate is our greatest contribution to making sure that African countries and institutions build back better from the shocks of the pandemic.”
PATIMFA was set up in March 2020 to provide financing to assist Afreximbank member countries to adjust in an orderly manner to the financial, economic and health services shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This 3-year medium-term facility has been availed through direct funding. Afreximbank has already disbursed more than US$3.5 billion under PATIMFA. In addition, the Bank provided a grant of US$3 million towards the COVID-19 Special Fund set up by the African Union as well as to the African Center for Disease Control and other agencies.
Afreximbank has a history of providing support to African economies in times of economic crisis. During the 2015 economic crisis, it introduced a Counter-Cyclical Trade Liquidity Facility under which it disbursed more than $10 billion on a revolving basis to enable member countries to adjust to the adverse economic shocks. That facility helped key African economies to manage that crisis and recover swiftly.
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution with the mandate of financing and promoting intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank was established in October 1993 and is owned by African governments, the African Development Bank and other African multilateral financial institutions as well as African and non-African public and private investors.
The Bank was established under two constitutive documents, an agreement signed by member states, which confers on the Bank the status of an international organization, and a Charter signed by all Shareholders, which governs its corporate structure and operations.
Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that are supporting the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby sustaining economic expansion in Africa. At the end of 2019, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at USD$15.5 billion and its shareholders’ funds amounted to US$2.8 billion.
Voted “African Bank of the Year” in 2019, the Bank disbursed more than US$31billion between 2016 and 2019. Afreximbank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A-), Moody’s (Baa1) and Fitch (BBB-). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.