IFC in Response to COVID, invests $100m in Zenith Bank for SMEs

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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has announced an investment of up to $100 million in Zenith Bank Plc to help it increase support to clients and companies whose cash flows have been disrupted by challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a statement made available to newsmen, IFC’s loan to Zenith Bank is its first investment in Africa through its COVID-19 fast-track financing support package.

The funding would help Zenith, an existing IFC client and Africa’s sixth largest bank, overcome challenges resulting from ongoing, limited access to foreign currency, working capital, and trade funding.

The statement explained that Zenith would support dozens of businesses in Nigeria’s health, pharmaceuticals, food, and trading sectors, allowing them to strengthen operations, maintain employment as well as access critical imports of goods, commodities, and raw materials during these challenging economic times.

Commenting on the IFC’s support, the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank, Ebenezer Onyeagwu said, “IFC’s support is essential and will help us respond to challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. It will allow us to support compelling export initiatives and trade financing for critical goods and materials, especially for the medical and pharmaceuticals sectors. Our partnership with IFC is strong and we are committed to its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) requirements.”

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