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The Group Managing Director, Alex Otti, who was speaking against the backdrop of the bank’s rising credit rating in the financial market, stated that the bank was also strengthening its ability to grow its micro small and medium enterprises (SMEs) banking business.
According to him, apart from attracting the un-banked into the mainstream of banking, the bank also acknowledged the role of SMEs as the engine of economic growth and development.
It will be recalled that IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Africa Capitalisation Fund, a private equity fund managed by IFC Asset Management Company, sealed a pact with Diamond Bank Plc to provide $70 million (N11.3 billion) in convertible loans to the Nigerian financial institution.
The financing deal is expected to support growth and access to finance for smaller businesses in the country by allowing Diamond Bank to expand its lending programme and ability to offer financial services to underserved market segments, including micro, small, and medium enterprises and agricultural firms.
IFC Advisory Services will provide further assistance to help Diamond Bank enhance its range of financial services for agricultural sector clients.
The Head of the Africa Capitalisation Fund, Marcos Brujis, said: “The investment provides a unique opportunity for the Africa Capitalisation Fund to support Diamond Bank’s expansion into key economic sectors that have relatively low banking penetration and, therefore, offer significant growth potential for investors.”
IFC’s partnership with Diamond Bank began in 2005, with an initial investment to help it expand lending to small and medium enterprises. It has, however, been working with the bank since 2001 in various areas, including providing long-term financing and advisory services to support its business.Share