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Johannesburg, South Africa, May 3, 2016
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced an investment of $25 million in First National Bank Zambia to increase access to finance for small and medium-sized businesses and the agriculture sector in support of inclusive economic growth.
Half of Zambia’s population of 15 million live in rural areas, where formal employment is scarce and poverty is high. One of the main constraints on economic growth is the lack of finance for small-scale businesses, with 28 percent of Zambian firms citing a lack of credit as their top operational constraint (2013 Zambia Enterprise Survey).
The IFC loan will enhance FNB Zambia’s capacity to significantly increase its lending to small and medium-sized enterprises and export-oriented agribusinesses, in support of the bank’s strategy to become the country’s leading bank for SMEs and the agribusiness sector.
Johan Maree, CEO FNB Zambia, said, “We are excited that this facility will further support our focus on the SME and agriculture sectors that are key in addressing the country’s challenges of poverty and unemployment. As FNB Zambia, we are committed to supporting our customers achieve their aspirations and to playing a leading role in support of Zambia’s development agenda through provision of innovative products and services that support the growth of local businesses and help to create a better world.”
Oumar Seydi, Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “By supporting the small business sector and agricultural sector, our support to FNB Zambia will contribute to the country’s efforts to improve its resilience and diversify the economy, which is especially important in economically challenging times.”
FNB Zambia is a wholly owned subsidiary of First Rand Group South Africa and started operating in 2009. It has 21 points-of-presence around the country, 770 staff and about 190,000 clients.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
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