STANBIC Bank Zimbabwe and its parent company, Standard Bank Group, have availed a US$21,6 million loan facility towards the sprucing up of the Beitbridge Border Post.
The loan facility was availed to a concession holding company Zimborders Mauritius (Zimborders) to facilitate rehabilitation and modernisation of Zimbabwe’s side of the Beitbridge Border Post, as well as the development of associated infrastructure in and around the border town.
Work on the rehabilitation of the Border Post started in earnest early this year and is progressing steadily. It is one of the flagship infrastructure projects aimed at enhancing the ease of doing business and attracting more investments in the country.
Infrastructure investment falls in line with the Government’s National Development Strategy (NDS1:2021-2025) objective of efficient infrastructure delivery, which will be key in the realisation of national priorities and overall socio-economic development.
Standard Bank Group regional head South and Central Africa investment banking, Mr Chungu Kaunda, said the facility demonstrates the financial services institution’s drive to provide impactful financing solutions across the key sectors driving Zimbabwe’s economic recovery, including the infrastructure sector.
“While raising finance remains a challenge in sub-Saharan Africa, this transaction speaks to Standard Bank’s ongoing commitment to use its on-the-ground presence and expert capabilities across Africa to finance the development of infrastructure projects throughout the continent,” said Mr Kaunda.
“Standard Bank’s local presence and its strong relationships with key stakeholders in the region were crucial to ensuring the positive outcome.”
As part of the transaction, Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe is also a local account bank for Zimborders, utilising its local capabilities to assist the client with its transactional requirements and also acting as liaison with the Government and regulatory agencies, whose oversight and approvals were crucial for the bankability of the project, said the bank.
Stanbic Bank executive director responsible for wholesale clients, Betty Murambadoro also commented: “The Bank is not only providing debt funding to Zimborders. We are also utilising our channel and capabilities as local account bank for Zimborders in a way that provides comfort to both the borrower and syndicated lenders”.
Beitbridge Border post is the busiest border post in Southern Africa by way of movement of people and commercial traffic. South Africa remains one of Zimbabwe’s key trade partners and Stanbic Bank realises the importance of this project towards enhancement of trade between not only the two countries but across the North South corridor including countries North of Zimbabwe.
Access to infrastructure remains critical to the future growth potential of sub-Saharan Africa, yet it remains extremely limited across large parts of the region.
“The bank is proud to have played its role in helping to close this infrastructure deficit. Achieving this milestone is testament to Standard Bank’s strong capabilities and expertise in the energy and infrastructure space,” said Mr Terence Mapfumo, head of investment banking.
“We remain ready to support local and regional entities across various sectors to see their projects through to fruition, by offering a robust suite of investment banking products.”