By Tunde Osho
Access Bank Ghana has entered into another strategic partnership with its long standing financial partner, FMO, the Dutch Development Bank, for a $25 million facility to boost its lending capacity.
The facility, which is a conventional senior unsecured loan of 7 years was closed on the sidelines of the Power for Partnership programme held in Amsterdam on March 12, 2018.
An amount of US$3.5 million out of the facility has been dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs in Ghana under Access Bank’s flagship and award winning women empowerment initiative – “W”, which was launched in March 2015.
Commenting on the transaction, Linda Broekhuizen, CIO of FMO added, “we are very pleased to strengthen our partnership with Access Bank even further and committing capital specifically towards strengthening the bank’s SME and women banking strategy.”
Signing the transaction on behalf of the Bank, the Managing Director of Access Bank Ghana Plc, Mr. Dolapo Ogundimu, indicated that Access Bank’s role as a catalyst for socio-economic development will receive further boost through this landmark facility as the Bank continuously seeks to provide critical financial interventions to develop commerce and industry in Ghana.
He added that, “The execution of this facility is timely: it will complement the recovery of economic activities in Ghana and also further encourage entrepreneurship, particularly as the funds will be applied to SMEs with a dedicated focus to women businesses which has seen tremendous growth in the last few years.”
Access Bank Ghana began its relationship with FMO since inception in 2009. Recently in 2014, the FMO and PROPARCO offered Access Bank a USD 40 million syndicated credit facility to support its lending activities to the private sector in the Ghanaian economy.
Currently, Access Bank is ranked as 12th largest bank in Ghana by assets and is operating one of the largest branch networks in the country.
In 2016, the Bank initiated a recapitalization exercise through an Initial Public Offer (IPO) which led to its listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange and is set to complete a rights issue exercise before June 2018, to meet the new capital requirement set by the Bank of Ghana.
FMO is the Dutch Development Bank. As a leading impact investor, FMO supports sustainable private sector growth in developing countries and emerging markets by investing in ambitious projects and entrepreneurs.
FMO believes that a strong private sector leads to economic and social development, and has a 45-year proven track record of empowering people to employ their skills and improve their quality of life.
FMO focuses on three sectors that have high development impact: financial institutions, energy, and agribusiness, food & water. With a committed portfolio of EUR 9.8 billion spanning over 85 countries, FMO is one of the larger bilateral private sector developments banks globally.