The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says it has granted Egyptian construction conglomerate, The Arab Contractors (Osman Ahmed Osman & Company) Limited, a $200-million multi-currency guarantee facility.
This is contained in a statement by the bank’s Head of Communications, Mr Obi Emekekwue, in Lagos, Nigeria.
The statement quoted the bank’s President, Dr Benedict Oramah as saying that the grant was to enable the company meet its obligations under construction contracts within Africa and the Middle East.
Oramah said the signing of the agreement demonstrated Afreximbank’s strong commitment to promoting intra-African trade and support to key intra-African trade players in the continent, referred to as Intra-African Trade Champions or Intra-Champs.
“Arab Contractors are indeed Intra-Champs, present in several African countries and helping to build and develop critical infrastructure, representing an institutional icon that deserves the full support of Afreximbank.
We are therefore proud of the partnership that this facility promises to build between Afreximbank and Arab Contractors – a partnership that can only make Africa better integrated and stronger,” he said.
Oramah noted that, in recent years, the bank had supported large Egyptian entities to export goods and services to other African countries.
He said that such supports had amounted to no less than $1.5 billion out of the bank’s overall $4 billion exposure to Egypt.
Mohammed Salah, Chairman, The Arab Contractors Limited, said the facility represented a giant leap in the strategic partnership between Afreximbank and his company towards helping the African economy, particularly the infrastructure sector.
He added that the facility would strengthen the firm’s capacity to be a vehicle for execution of projects in Africa.
The Commercial International Bank (CIB) Egypt is the local administrative agent for the facility which has a five year tenor.
Afreximbank is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade.
The bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors.
Since 1994, it has approved more than $51 billion in credit facilities for African businesses, including about $10.3 billion in 2016.
Afreximbank had total assets of $11.7 billion as at Dec. 31, 2016 and is rated BBB+ (GCR), Baa1 (Moody’s), and BBB- (Fitch).
The Bank is headquartered in Cairo.