Bank of Kigali’s lending capacity to small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) has been boosted by a $10m long-term credit facility from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
OFID is the development finance arm of the oil producing and exporting countries. It was established in 1976 to stimulate economic growth and fight poverty in the world’s poor countries. Bank of Kigali (BK) will repay the loan in seven years. The credit line will boost the bank’s loan book to SME sector, the heartbeat of Rwanda’s economy.
“We appreciate this new partnership with OFID. We hope the partnership grows and helps us improve the lives of Rwandans ,” the Bank of Kigali chief executive officer, James Gatera, is quoted as saying at the signing of the deal in Vienna, Austria recently.
“Bank of Kigali continues to find alternative sources of financing to ensure that everyone who needs financing can access it,” he said.
Bank of Kigali is the largest lender in the country, with net loans Rfw198.4b as at the end of March 2013.
It is anticipated that with more working capital available to SMEs, more jobs will be created. This will also broaden the country’s tax base and, hence, more revenue for social infrastructure development.
According to a statement issued following the signing of the credit facility, OFID considered Bank of Kigali’s strong commitment to the country’s economic development when approving the loan.
“Your institution’s commitment to improving the lives of the population in Rwanda is in line with OFID’s mandate of promoting economic and social development and contributing to poverty alleviation.
“This line of credit to Bank of Kigali will contribute to the further development of the bank’s SME activities,” stated the director general Suleiman J. Al-Herbish.
Bank of Kigali is the only indigenous bank listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange. Management said enhanced capacity to lend will ensure more returns to shareholders.
“We want to do more for clients. We also aim at improving shareholders’ return on investment,” said Shivon Byamukama, the company secretary and head of corporate affairs.