African bank gives KCB $100m line of credit
October 30—KCB, Kenya’s biggest commercial bank, is to receive a $100 million line of credit (LOC) from the African Development Bank (AfDB) with a large chunk of the money going to helping small and medium size enterprises in Kenya, but also women entrepreneurs in its areas of operation across the region.
In a statement, the Abidjan-based AfDB said, ‘The LOC will bolster KCB’s ability to reach and serve deserving businesses in Kenya. Additionally, the AfDB will, through this LOC, contribute towards KCB’s efforts to broaden access to financing for Kenyan businesses thereby helping to develop the private sector’.
It adds, ‘Approving the LOC, AfDB Board members emphasized the need for KCB to take the womenfolk along in all its interventions in Kenya and neighbouring countries’.
According to the AfDB Board, the money will provide much-needed liquidity support for the development of infrastructure and energy projects as well as support value-addition in manufacturing and providing the youth. The project is therefore an important contribution towards enhancing job creation as well as facilitating financial access to businesses.
Kenya’s economy is one of the most vibrant on the continent because of its diverse and resilient characteristics. The economy enjoys a unique feature whereby both the corporate segment and established SMEs drive economic growth. The bank’s role is also critical in jobs creation, enhancing output diversification, developing indigenous entrepreneurship and forging trade ties within the region and globally.
‘Availability of requisitely priced funds at matching tenors is therefore a key ingredient towards assisting these enterprises to thrive sustainably and eventually contribute towards economic development. The LOC will bolster KCB’s ability to reach and serve deserving businesses in Kenya,’ the statement reads.
This intervention is well aligned with AfDB’s Ten Year Strategy, 2013-2022, as well as one of the Bank’s High 5 Strategic priorities of improving the living conditions of Africans. KCB is currently the largest bank in Kenya in terms of assets, customer deposits as well as loans and advances portfolio. It offers a wide range of products and services to retail, corporate, institutional and SME clients. The Bank is one of pioneers in alternative service channels including agency and mobile banking that promote financial inclusion. This has catapulted it to the position of market leader across several customer segments in Kenya.