Norfund loans US$1.4m to NMBZ for SME on-lending

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By Zimbabwe Investor on March 21, 2013. No Comments

NMBZ is head-quartered in Harare

NMBZ is head-quartered in Harare

The Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund), a state-owned institution, recently issued a seven-year loan of USD 1.4 million to investment holding company NMBZ (National Merchant Bank of Zimbabwe) Holdings, which owns NMB Bank Limited, for on-lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Ingebjorg Stofring, The Norwegian ambassador to Zimbabwe, reportedly said, “SMEs are frequently too large to qualify for microfinance, and microfinance loan sizes are too small to meet SME capital needs. At the same time, SMEs are often considered by commercial banks and financial institutions to be risky and costly to serve. Norfund’s mandate is to seek to close this gap in the market and their investment in NMB Bank is an important part of this strategy.”

NMBZ Holdings, which is listed on both the Zimbabwean Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange, reported total assets of USD 167 million as of December 2011.

Norfund was founded by the Norwegian Parliament in 1997 to provide investment capital, loans and guarantees to businesses in developing countries that have limited access to finance. Norfund reported a portfolio of approximately USD 1.3 billion at mid-year 2012.

The Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) is a state-owned financial institution that provides investment capital, loans  and guarantees to businesses in developing countries that have limited access to finance. It was founded in 1997 by the Storting, the Norwegian parliament. It has made investments in Real People of South Africa, Hattha Kaksekar Limited (HKL) of Cambodia and Cambodian Entrepreneur Building (CEB), among others. Norfund reported a portfolio of approximately USD 1.3 billion at mid-year 2012.

National Merchant Bank of Zimbabwe (NMBZ) Holdings Limited is an investment holdings company based in Zimbabwe. NMB Bank, the primary subsidiary of NMBZ Holdings, is a Zimbabwean bank that provides financial services to corporations and individuals. The bank is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. As of December 2011, NMBZ Holdings reported total assets of USD 167 million. NMB bank reported total assets of USD 16.2 million as of the same date.