Local lender, BPR minority shareholder, Rabobank, has formed a partnership with the Dutch development bank, FMO, and Norwegian development body Norfund to boost financial services in Rwanda and on the continent generally.
Rabobank owns a 14.6 per cent stake in BPR. Sanjeev Anand, the BPR managing director, said the new partnership reaffirms the firm’s long-term commitment to the local financial sector and supporting Africa’s future development efforts.
Anand said the partnership will result in consolidation of the three firms’ respective portfolios to create a joint investment and development vehicle, Arise.
Arise will start operations on January 1, 2017 with $660 million in assets in over 20 countries, which is anticipated to grow to $1 billion. Capital will be allocated to support current investee companies as well as new minority investments in the market, according to the lender.
“BPR welcomes this partnership by our shareholder as an important contributor to building a stronger financial sector in sub-Saharan Africa,” Anand said yesterday while announcing the partnership in Kigali yesterday.
He added that they will engage in a hands-on manner with BPR to help it grow and realise its ambitions reflecting the bank’s commitment to strengthen and develop effective, inclusive financial systems in Rwanda and around Africa.
Norfund, FMO and Rabobank hold stakes in several financial service providers in sub-Saharan Africa which they have agreed to pool together.
The ambition of the partnership is to build strong, locally owned financial institutions that serve small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs), the rural sector, and clients who have not previously had access to financial services.
Rabobank executive board member Berry Martin said the firm’s activities in investing and building strong financial service providers in emerging economies, especially sub-Saharan Africa, fits BPR strategic objectives, like increasing access to credit and deepening the savings culture. “By joining forces and pooling assets, networks and expertise with Norfund and FMO, two highly experienced development institutions of excellent reputation, we are taking a major step forward.”