The International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank Group, has announced US$175 million lending facility to Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank.
According to IFC in a statement on Tuesday, the facility is to enable the bank to expand its lending portfolio in Africa’s biggest economy.
It said the financing comprises US$100 million for IFC’s own account and $75 million through an IFC managed co-lending portfolio.
Previously, in 2010, IFC had lent US$200 million to GTB to assist in mitigating the effects of the global financial crisis of 2008/2009 on the Nigeria banking sector. It had the strategic objective of improving confidence within the Nigerian financial sector, as well as with international investors.
Although the terms of the latest loan facility between GTB and IFC were not publicized, normally IFC loans have maturities of seven to 12 years at origination.
Grace periods and repayment schedules are however determined on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the borrower’s cash-flow needs. If warranted by the project, IFC provides longer-term loans and longer grace periods. Some loans have been extended to as long as 20 years.
Meanwhile, last week, IFC launched Lighting Africa project for Nigeria. The project, a joint initiative with the World Bank, is aimed at helping to increase access to affordable, clean and safer lighting for more than 30 percent of Nigeria’s population who live in rural areas, and have low incomes and no access to grid electricity.
The project is also expected to buoy development commercial markets for off-grid solar lighting products in Nigeria.
GTB is one of the biggest commercial banks in Nigeria with at least 233 branches across the country.
The bank also known as GTBank was incorporated as a limited liability company licensed to provide commercial and other banking services to the Nigerian public in 1990 and commenced operations in February 1991.
In September 1996, Guaranty Trust Bank plc became a publicly quoted company and won the Nigerian Stock Exchange President’s Merit award. In February 2002, the Bank was granted a universal banking license and later appointed a settlement bank by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2003.
Guaranty Trust Bank undertook its second share offering in 2004 and raised over N11 billion from Nigerian Investors to expand its operations.