International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank, has extended a loan to Guaranty Trust Bank (Kenya) Ltd, a unit of Guaranty Trust Group, for on-lending to local businesses in the country.
GTBank Kenya will provide access to finance mainly to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the trade, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing sectors, among others.
IFC said its $15 million loan to GTBank Kenya is part of the $8-billion Fast Track COVID-19 Facility launched in 2020. The facility is designed to support existing IFC clients in emerging markets affected by the economic fallout from COVID-19.
Pandemic-related disruptions caused Kenya’s real GDP to contract in 2020, with smaller businesses hit hard by supply-chain disruptions and reduced economic activity. Although Kenya returned to pre-pandemic growth levels in 2021, this year is again proving challenging and smaller businesses still need added support to weather ongoing uncertainties.
IFC said its investment portfolio in Kenya stood at $940.1 million as of June 30, 2021 with most investments in the finance, manufacturing, agribusiness, and services sectors.
Last March, IFC had appointed Amena Arif as its new country manager for Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, and Malawi.
Guarantee Trust is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, and listed on the Nigeria and London Stock Exchange. It has banking subsidiaries in Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom.
GTBank Kenya commenced operations in 2013 following an acquisition of the then Fina Bank Group. It has two subsidiaries in East Africa—Guaranty Trust Bank (Uganda) Ltd with a 100% shareholding and Guaranty Trust Bank (Rwanda) Plc with a 96.38% shareholding.