IFC Invests in I&M Bank (Rwanda) to Support SME Lending in Rwanda

In Nairobi
Neha Sud
Phone: +254
Email: nsud@ifc.org

I&M Bank Rwanda
Fiona Kamikazi
Phone : +250788319136
Email : Fiona.Kamikazi@imbank.co.rw

IFC Invests in I&M Bank (Rwanda) to Support SME Lending in Rwanda

Kigali, Rwanda, 6th June 2018 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced an investment of a $10 million subordinated loan to I&M Bank (Rwanda) to strengthen the Bank’s capital base and support lending to small and medium enterprises which will promote job creation in Rwanda.

The investment will focus on smaller SMEs operating in the tourism, agriculture, trade and commerce sectors which are the main drivers of economic growth in Rwanda. Services account for 50.8 percent while agriculture generates 31.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

I&M Bank, the oldest financial institution in Rwanda, is one of the top three commercial banks in the country. By promoting increased access to finance for underserved SMEs, I&M Bank is supporting the Government of Rwanda’s Vision 2020, which aims to transform the country into a knowledge based, middle-income country and a technology and finance hub for the region.

“We are delighted with the continued partnership between IFC and I&M Bank. We have built a solid SME portfolio and through quarterly Financial Skills' Workshops offered to clients to develop their capacity, we have seen businesses grow from SME to Corporate profiles. This new line will make it possible to explore new and evolving sectors like tourism, energy and agri-business while continuing to have a considerable influence on existing businesses”, Said Robin Bairstow Chief Executive Officer of I&M Bank Rwanda

SMEs account for 98 percent of all businesses in Rwanda and contribute about 55 percent of the total gross domestic product. However, 79 percent of SMEs in Rwanda lack sufficient access to finance leading to an estimated $1.2 billion finance gap. This loan is aligned with IFC’s strategy for Rwanda which promotes access to finance for SMEs and other underserved market segments.

Oumar Seydi, IFC Regional Director for Africa, said “Expanding SME financing, especially in developing economies where risks are higher is an important pillar of IFC’s strategy in Africa. This facility will allow I&M Bank to reach underserved SMEs in Rwanda and have a significant impact on growth.”

SMEs are a source of growth, jobs and innovation, and create economic dynamism in countries where they can thrive. In Sub-Saharan Africa, where it is estimated that 350 million new jobs will be needed in the next 20 years, they account for 30 to 60 percent of GDP and 67 percent of jobs. Nonetheless, access to finance remains a leading constraint to SME growth. IFC is playing a significant role in improving SME financing. In 2016, 400 of IFC’s SME finance clients extended an estimated eight million SME loans globally.

About IFC

IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

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About I&M Bank
Established in 1963, I&M Bank Rwanda Ltd (formerly - BCR) is a leading Financial Services Provider with a regional presence in Africa. In Rwanda, the company's product offering includes Retail Banking, Business Banking, Corporate and Institutional Banking. The Bank has a proven track record in pioneering innovative financial services and supporting the Republic of Rwanda’s strategy for Financial Inclusion.

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