, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 18 – Chase Bank has signed a Sh3.4 billion debt facility with PROPACO, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency, in bid to strengthen the bank’s business growth strategy and increasing its lending capabilities to small and medium sized enterprises in the country.
Chase Bank Chief Executive Officer Duncan Kabui says the seven year credit facility will allow the bank to strengthen its long-term resources and support the sustainability of its organic growth.
“The credit facility underscores Chase Bank’s commitment to provide financial inclusion to SMEs, thus reducing the challenges that entrepreneurs continue to face in accessing finance to foster their business growth and development,” he said.
Kabui says funds will also enable the bank to respond to the increasing demand for foreign denominated loans expressed by dynamic SMEs, largely involved in international trade and actively contributing to the economic growth of the country.
“This transaction with PROPARCO is very much part of our broader business strategy to stimulate SME growth. This credit facility will be instrumental in creating more opportunities for this sector in terms of growing their businesses, creating job opportunities for our youth and women and building inclusive finance to the unbanked areas in the country in order to ensure increased growth and sustainable development,” said Kabui.
He disclosed that in addition to disbursing funds, the bank will support the sector in providing instruments such as advisory services, capacity building and development of Information Communication and Technology (ICT) infrastructure to enhance their business growth.
He noted that SMEs are flourishing in Kenya representing over 90 percent of the enterprises and account for 50 to 60 percent of employment in the country.
“An estimated 95 percent of businesses in our country are MSMEs (micro, small and medium-sized enterprises). Giving these businesses a conducive enabling environment will provoke financing to become available and will allow the informal sector to formalize and the formal sector to grow, to create jobs and prosperity, and ultimately to close the gap of the missing- middle,” concluded Kabui.
Last month, the bank received Sh850 million in equity from the German Development Finance Institution (DEG), to boost its business model of broadening its Information Technology infrastructure, and increasing its product portfolio to customers.
The bank reported impressive third quarter interim financials, with a profit after tax of Sh1.12 billion from Sh590 million reported in September 2012, representing a growth rate of 89 percent.
The bank’s balance sheet as at September 2013 stands at Sh62 billion with its growth attributed to increased lending and robust growth in customer base.