18 August 2014

Tanzania: MeTL Gets Sh300 Billion Loan From South African Banks

Johannesburg — A CONSORTIUM of leading global banks led by Rand Merchant Bank has endorsed a 200 million US dollars (over 330bn/-) loan to Mohamed Enterprises Tanzania Limited to enable the local company diversify its commodity business.

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) Head of Trade and Working Capital, Gregory Havermahl and Mohamed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (MeTL) Group Chief Executive Officer, Mohamed Dewji, said after the signing ceremony yesterday that the money will further assist MeTL expand its manufacturing activities.

Mr Dewji who is also Singida Urban legislator (CCM), said his plans to change MeTL from a commodities trading company into a manufacturing powerhouse started several years back and that currently it needs more capital to grow.

"When I joined this family business in 1999 after returning from the US, my father was mainly focusing on commodities trading but I said that we need to start using local commodities in manufacturing," the youthful lawmaker said.

He pointed out that since then, MeTL has established soap, edible oil, sisal bags, plastics and soft drinks manufacturing plants employing thousands of people and paying billions in taxes to the government.

"Revenue from this group of companies has increased from 26 million US dollars in 1999 to 1.5 billion US dollars per annum at present and I want annual revenue to peak 5bn US dollars by 2018," he pointed out.

Paying tribute to former President Benjamin William Mkapa and President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete for creating business friendly environments and private sector incentives which have encouraged investments including his family's MeTL conglomerate.

"Former President Mkapa introduced policies which encouraged private sector to invest in manufacturing by offering several incentives.

President Kikwete has further improved the situation," the MeTL Group CEO told a group of Johannesburg based bankers, business executives and international journalists.

He revealed that MeTL which has invested over 48 million US dollars including 7.0 million US dollars first borrowed from RMB in 2007, the Dar es Salaam based group is now competing in the local market with multinational corporations such as Proctor and Gamble, Unilever and others.

"Our products control about 38 per cent of the market in Tanzania and annual revenue accounts for about 3.5 per cent of gross domestic product in my country," Dewji who was named earlier this year by US prestigious magazine as one of the most promising entrepreneurs, said.

On behalf of the consortium of banks, Mr Havermahl commended MeTL under Dewji's management as a reliable client who bankers would like to work with as a partner.

"We hope you will again use this money to further develop your business," Havermahl said.

He said RMB and its partner banks have agreed to loan MeTL the huge sum of money because the first loan was put to better use which resulted into growth of the commodity trading cum manufacturing group. Other banks which contributed to the loan are Citi Bank, Ned Bank and Rabo Bank.

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