List of businesses to benefit from Equity Bank’s Ksh.700 billion investment plan
Equity Group has laid out plans to help businesses recover from the ravages of coronavirus pandemic through a partnership with national government to enable micro economic and policy environment to enable private sector to thrive.
The bank has already seeded the plan with Kshs.700 billion to lend to five million Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), some of which still continue to get on foot following the coronavirus pandemic hit since 2020.
It has laid five strategic pillars which include agriculture and mining, the manufacturing sector, trade and investment sectors.
Inside Ksh.700 billion is a Ksh.19.1 billion partnership deal the lender has struck the World Bank’s International Financial Corporation (IFC) for MSMEs.
Small businesses majorly involved in climate-smart businesses in six countries which the bank operates will benefit from the multibillion financing programme.
The deal also includes zero financing of any utility company that generates more than 20 percent of energy or revenues from coal, or have an annual coal production of 10 million tons or more, or have an installed coal-fired capacity of 5,000MW or more.
Bamburi Cement is among the major manufacturers that use coal to fuel production.
Equity joins other African banks such as Standard Bank which has also adopted a policy that made it more selective in the coal projects it can finance, with a focus on limiting emissions.
Apart from IFC, Equity has also signed various financing deals with African Development Bank (AfDB) and 10 European Development Banks.
AfDB loaned Ksh.11 billion to Equity to expand East and Central Africa and boost its ability to serve SMEs in the region.
The loan is a tier two facility with a seven-year maturity.
Equity has also partnered with the United Nations (UN) through national resident representatives in its six markets to facilitate capacity building for the MSMEs to ensure inclusivity and that nobody is left behind with social impact investment funding progress in society.
Through the partnership with Mastercard Foundation of Young Africa Works which involves financial literacy and entrepreneurship training, credit risk-sharing, and credit guarantees for MSME borrowing, the 5 million entrepreneurs will be able to create 50 million jobs directly and indirectly in the region.
Equity Bank nearly doubled its full-year profit for the year ended December 31, 2021 to post Ksh.39.1 billion from Ksh.19.7 billion in 2020.
Its net profit surged by 36 percent to Ksh.11.8 billion in the first quarter of 2022 from Ksh.8.7 billion in quarter one of 2021.
This was catapulted by growth in interest and non-interest income.
Equity expects its performance to remain resilient going into the half and full year earnings despite recent shocks to the macroeconomic environment including inflation and supply chain constraints,