Zim firms clinch Afreximbank deals 

Source: Zim firms clinch Afreximbank deals – The Zimbabwe Independent


THE African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) signed financing agreements worth US$188,6 million with four Zimbabwean entities at the close of the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) which opened in Durban, South Africa on November 15 and ended this week.

The regional lender signed a US$110,4 million deal with Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) to help the firm improve the power sector in the country.

Funding from the loan facility has been earmarked to help ZETDC improve revenue collection through the roll out of more smart and prepaid meters.

This will help the firm pay off creditors and improve creditworthiness.

In addition, Afreximbank provided CABS with a US$40 million facility.

The transaction is also meant to help the lender support the development of the energy sector in Zimbabwe, which has recently been hit by rolling blackouts, mostly caused by ageing power generation plants.

The power utility, Zesa Holdings, says it is producing only half of its installed electricity generation capacity.

“The third transaction, which is a US$28,2 million dual-tranche facility, was agreed with CBZ Bank to provide much-needed offshore foreign currency in Zimbabwe. The transaction will also help finance the import of raw materials for key industries, thereby creating jobs and, in some cases, facilitating export diversification,” Afreximbank said in an update of the deals.

ZB Bank, one of Zimbabwe’s leading banks, signed a US$10 million term sheet that will enable it to participate as one of syndicated lenders in a facility for the energy sector in Zimbabwe, Afreximbank said, demonstrating how it has taken an interest in resolving the electricity crisis.

“By providing adequate financing for power generation and transmission infrastructure, the facility will help companies in Zimbabwe’s mining, manufacturing and industrial sectors to increase their capacity, thereby contributing to exports and gross domestic product, with a knock-on effect on employment levels and foreign exchange generation,” Afreximbank said.

Zimbabwe pitched investment projects worth about US$700 million covering agriculture, the digital economy and other sectors to the trade fair, a report released after the event said.

Investment inflows into Zimbabwe have slowed, with some reports estimating that Harare receives about one tenth of foreign direct investment (FDI) flowing into the region. But authorities, facing a gruelling economic crisis, have scaled up campaigns to rally foreign investors to set up projects into the country.

The largest project presented by the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (Zida) was that of the Sable Chemical Fertiliser, which was worth US$400 million.

The firm was looking for a debt and equity partnership to improve its operations. A project under the proposal involves upgrading the fertiliser processing plant so that the current electrolysis process is replaced by new lower cost technologies.

Zida was also looking for investors for Sable Dairy Farms, a 5 000-hectare operation which plans to increase the annual production of milk to 65 million litres.