Equity Group Holdings Plc has signed a $100 million loan facility with Germany’s DEG, the UK’s CDC Group, and the Netherlands FMO in its continued commitment to walk with MSMEs to survive the pandemic, recover, repurpose and thrive during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
In response to COVID-19 crisis, Equity launched an offensive and defensive approach to support customers while innovating alongside MSMEs who are leveraging on the opportunities that have presented within the crisis.
The group has also provided loan repayment accommodation and rescheduling for up to 45 per cent of the customers whose cashflows were deemed likely to be negatively impacted by COVID-19. In its third quarter 2020 results, equity reported a 30 per cent growth in its loan book to support customers who saw opportunities of green shoots and diversifications in the COVID- 19 environment.
Most of the new opportunities funded are in manufacturing of PPE, logistics, online businesses, agro-processing, fast moving consumer goods and agriculture value chains. As development finance institutions, DEG, CDC Group and FMO invest to support the social and economic development of countries across Africa.
Supporting SMEs is a longterm priority, particularly as the segment remains underfinanced and in-need of patient capital. The partnership is testament to the development finance institution community’s strategy of working closely together to support more private sector businesses, scale impact and improve millions of livelihoods.
In making the announcement, Dr. James Mwangi, Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings Plc, stated: “The impact of COVID-19 started as a health crisis, which quickly became an economic and humanitarian crisis that has seen almost 40 per cent of Kenyan small business owners affected by the great economic slowdown.
“Equity’s goal is to keep the lights of the economy on to sustain lives and livelihoods and facilitate the recovery of businesses as the economy begins to reopen.
“We value our long-term partnership with DEG, FMO and CDC. We thank them for partnering with us in our efforts to support MSMEs to stimulate the economy back to vibrance, and hence support lives and livelihoods through market optimisation.”
Commenting on the transaction, Christiane Laibach, CEO of the DEG Management Board, said: “DEG is delighted to realise a further financing for Equity Bank, together with our European partners CDC and FMO. Through our cooperation we are contributing to supplying local SMEs with credit, which is particularly important and in demand at present.”