Local companies to benefit from 20m European/uniBank collaboration

The European Investment Bank, the European Union’s long-term lending institution, has agreed to provide €10 million to uniBank Ghana to support investment by private businesses across Ghana.

uniBank Ghana will provide an additional €10 million totaling €20 million to support local firms in the country.

The European Investment Bank’s new lending agreement with uniBank Ghana is the third scheme to support investment in the country under a €80 million credit facility launched in 2013 to improve access to finance by companies in Ghana.

Earlier credit lines under the European Investment Bank initiative were agreed with Société Générale Ghana and Ecobank Ghana.

Vice President of European Investment Bank Pim Van Ballekom said the new engagement launched with uniBank Ghana will build on the success of similar cooperation with leading banks across Africa and support important new corporate investment across the country.

“This significant new lending programme will both increase investment by the private sector and strengthen the role of local banks. The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting public and private sector projects that supports economic growth and improves lives across Africa”, he said.

Chief Executive Officer of uniBank , Mr. Felix Nyarko-Pong thanked the EIB for the facility and also assured customers that “we are in a much stronger position to meet their banking and financial needs”.

The European Union’s delegation, Ambassador William Hanna said the €10 Million to uniBank , together with the facilities already provided to Société Générale and Ecobank to improve access to finance for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) are crucial.

She added “Since SMEs are the backbone of Ghana’s economy and by far the biggest job provider in the country.”

The new credit line by the European Investment Bank will allow uniBank Ghana to provide loans in both Euros and US dollars, with a tenor of up to 8 years.

This represents a much longer maturity than typically available in Ghana.

Lending under the scheme will support investment in agriculture, manufacturing, construction, transport, education and healthcare as well as reinforcing long-term investment by Ghanaian companies crucial for supporting economic growth, benefiting from new business opportunities and creating jobs.

The European Investment Bank has agreed the new credit line with uniBank following a thorough due diligence process.

Alongside support for company investment, the European Investment Bank engagement will help improve the banking sector in Ghana through backing expansion of branch networks, IT systems and staff training within uniBank Ghana.

The European Investment Bank has provided nearly €600 million to support public sector projects and private sector investment in Ghana since the first operation in 1976.

This has included direct loans, credit lines with local banks and investment in smaller projects by private equity or microfinance funds.

The EIB’s engagement has supported investment in several sectors including energy, industry, transportation, and the financial sector.

Last year the European Investment Bank provided more than € 2.5 billion for public and private investment across Africa.

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