US financier, SBSA plans $300m African power, infrastructure facility
by MIKE OCHONMA
October 11, 2016 | 12:21 am| | | Start Conversation
In a fresh move to stimulate power and infrastructure projects in Africa, Standard Bank of South Africa (SBSA), US overseas development financier Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and diversified community-based financial services company Wells Fargo Bank have announced a $300-million facility package.
The 12-year funding line for SBSA, the largest African banking group by assets, was signed on the sidelines of the US-Africa Business Forum in New York, US, last month. As part of the deal, SBSA will provide $33-million from its balance sheet to support transactions financed by the facility.
At least $150-million of the facility will support power transactions as part of President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative, with up to $100-million made available for other strategic infrastructure projects beyond the power sector.
Standard Bank Group chief executive, Sim Tshabalala was quoted as saying “Power and infrastructure play a crucial role in the economic development of Africa”.
He disclosed that SBSA was delighted to be part of such an important initiative and looked forward to working with OPIC and Wells Fargo to promote sustainable economic growth and make a difference to the lives of the people of Africa.
Tshabalala underscored that SBSA had the experience, knowledge and presence in Africa to make this project “a resounding success”.
OPIC president and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield also expressed the company’s excitement to collaborate on an initiative that would have a long-lasting impact on the lives of millions throughout Africa.
He said, “By supporting infrastructure and power projects, this forward-thinking loan facility brings badly needed capital to the table and will pave the way for future development in Africa to take root and grow”.
Wells Fargo Global Financial Institutions Group executive VP and head Chuck Silverman added that Wells Fargo was pleased to sponsor this landmark facility for SBSA, which would use the proceeds to finance renewable-energy projects in low-income, International Development Association-eligible countries in Africa.
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