Equity Group signs US$100mn to MSMEs

Equity Group 15 MarchEquity Group Holdings Plc has signed a US$100mn loan facility with Germany’s DEG, the UK’s CDC Group, and the Netherlands FMO in its continued commitment to walk with MSMEs to survive the pandemic, recover, repurpose and thrive during and after the COVID-19 crisis

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Equity launched an approach to support customers while innovating alongside MSMEs who are leveraging on the opportunities that have presented within the crisis.

The Group has also provided loan repayment accommodation and rescheduling for up to 45% of the customers whose cashflows were deemed likely to be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In its third quarter 2020 results, Equity reported a 30% growth in its loan book to support customers who saw opportunities of green shoots and diversifications in the COVID-19 environment. Most of the new opportunities funded are in manufacturing of PPE, logistics, online businesses, agro-processing, fast moving consumer goods and agriculture value chains.

Dr James Mwangi, managing director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings Plc, said, “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic started as a health crisis, which quickly became an economic and humanitarian crisis that has seen almost 40% of Kenyan small business owners affected by the great economic slowdown.”

Commenting on the transaction, Christiane Laibach, CEO of the DEG Management Board, added, “As an inclusive regional financial institution these facilities strengthen Equity’s position to further enhance the strength of MSMEs who key actors in value chains and ecosystems in the economy. By ensuring their survival and growth the MSMEs will continue to protect jobs, create more jobs and support lives and livelihoods in society.”

Huib-Jan de Ruijter, chief investment officer (a.i.) at FMO, said, “The facility will be a lifeline for the ‘missing middle’, providing businesses with much needed capital, while supporting jobs and communities. The syndication with DEG and CDC shows the strength of DFI partnership and collaboration.”


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