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The Rwandan subsidiary of I&M bank has received financing of Sh1 billion ($10 million) from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for onward lending to small businesses.


The funding will also be targeted at agribusinesses in the country.


IFC, which is the private-sector lending arm of the World Bank, says that it may complement the funding with training on agri-business finance and agency banking.

“The project will improve access to finance for SMEs and the agri-business sector, both priority areas for spurring economic growth and job creation in Rwanda,” says the IFC in its disclosures.

 

Small businesses have been one of the key focus areas for I&M in Rwanda. However, Rwanda has been a risky market for lenders with data showing that the value of non-performing loans for the four listed banks hit $43 million in the first nine months of 2017.


I&M Rwanda’s profit for the same period rose from $5.3 million to $5.6 million partly on account of high growth in interest on government securities. 


I&M is one of nine Kenyan banks that have subsidiaries in the East African Community. The company moved into Rwanda in 2012 after it acquired majority stake in Banque Commerciale du Rwanda, the country’s second largest lender at the time.


The Rwandan government last year divested itself of 19.61 per cent stake in I&M bank (RSE:IMR) in an Initial Public Offering on the country’s bourse.

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