Bank Windhoek guns after SMEs
Where the Development Bank of Namibia has pulled out of any undertakings to fund small and medium enterprises, Bank Windhoek has duly stepped in, and through the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank and will provide finance in excess of N$900 million to budding and established Small and Medium Enterprises through a World Bank loan facility.
Announcing the loan facility, the World Bank said, “The facility is aimed at diversifying Bank Windhoek´s funding base, improving its maturity profile, and strengthening its liquidity and lending. Christo de Vries, Managing Director, Bank Windhoek said, “Bank Windhoek is proud of its association and partnership with the IFC. The loan facility will empower the bank to increase its lending to small- scale enterprises, amongst others, which is a very important sector in Namibia´s future economic growth and development.”
Aliou Maiga, International Finance Corporation Head of Financial Institutions Group for Africa, said, “The International Finance Corporation sees this investment as the start of a long-term partnership with Bank Windhoek that strengthens the banking sector in Namibia. Its broad reach in the market makes Bank Windhoek an ideal partner to expand access to finance for thousands of small-scale enterprises, contributing to job creation and economic growth.”
In an attempt to de-construct the facility, the Economist contacted Bank Windhoek who remained tight-lipped about the facility. Responding on behalf of Bank Windhoek was Sanet de Waal, a Communications Practitioner. She said, “As mentioned in the announcement the transaction has passed all the approval processes and the disbursement of the funds will be effected shortly. The terms and conditions as of the transaction is confidential and we are unfortunately not in a position to disclose the details.”
de Waal could not provide additional details about the loan facility. She concluded, “applications by SME’s to any funding will be dealt with in line with our normal credit application process.’’