By Johannes Hangula
THE European Union (EU) through the European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR7, 5 million (N$113,5 million) credit facility with Trustco Group Holdings through Trustco Bank to finance small businesses and entrepreneurs in Namibia.
This N$ 113, 5 million facility is expected to aid between 500 and 1 000 Small Medium Enterprises (SME) businesses and individual local entrepreneurs throughout Namibia. As the EIB typically does not finance more than 50 percent of any project, Trustco Group will match this investment with other term funding and future injections of capital.
Speaking at the signing ceremony European Investment Bank vice president Pim van Ballekom said the main aim for lending the money to Trustco Group was because the bank is trying to get investments opportunities in Namibia and re-engage the country they did business with often. Van Ballekom further stressed on why they are committed to providing such a facility, as he stated that is because access to finance for SMEs and micro enterprises was the key for economic progress, and key for building an inclusive society, encouraging innovative solutions, tackling unemployment and fighting poverty. “Without a prosperous SME sector that is hardly achievable, so we are very much encourage to do business and provide credit lines to companies like Trustco. It’s also important for social development and financial inclusivity,” said van Ballekom.
He further said the N$133,5 million will be used to finance credit-worthy micro and small business enterprises across the country. “The EIB funding will be disbursed in US dollars, Euros and Rands for the period of six years. And this facility specifically targets financial intermediaries like Trustco Bank that focus on micro and small size enterprises and is part of the 50 million Euros credit facility for the SADC region”.
Van Ballekom concluded that EIB bank is a public institution that is owned by 28 member states of the European Union and those member states do not want any dividends, pay out or taxes, and this has made it easy for the bank to pass on these advantages to Non-Government Organisations (NGOs).
In his remarks Trustco Group Managing Director Dr Quinton van Rooyen accentuated on attracting foreign investment into the country. “We have our challenges, but I am very proud to say that Namibia is one of those countries in the region, that we as Namibia can be very proud of. We must be very proud of our leadership and our people too,’’ he said.
Van Rooyen further said that the loan facility that Trustco has raised is meant for the people, its intention is to ensure that SMEs benefit directly from this facility.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015