Kenya's Co-Op Bank Gets U.S.$75 Million for Lending to MSMEs

The Co-operative Bank of Kenya has secured $75 million long-term funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for onward lending to the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

The bank's chief executive Gideon Muriuki said the funds would be used to support businesses to better cope with the disruptions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The funding has come at a most opportune time as it boosts our ability to better support our MSME customers to stabilise and turnaround their businesses to meet the challenges brought about by the pandemic," said Mr Muriuki.

The seven-year loan will be benefit MSMEs undertaking climate-smart projects including agricultural inputs and sustainable agricultural practices, as well as those in renewable energy.

Co-op Bank, the country's fourth largest lender by assets ($5.1 billion), reported a net profit drop of 10 per cent for the nine months to September 30, 2020, citing reduced banking transactions and increased provisioning to cushion against the economic disruption occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

So far the group has restructured over Ksh46 billion ($422 million) in loans and set aside Ksh15.2 billion ($152 million) for lending to the MSMEs.

Of the Ksh15.2 billion ($139.44 million) allocated for MSMEs, a total of Ksh14.8 billion ($135.77 million) has already been disbursed through the bank's E-Credit Solution.

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