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19.03.2004 Business & Finance

SSB, AFD PROPARCO sign loan facility

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Accra, March 19, GNA - SSB Bank Ghana Limited, a member of the Societe General Group, has signed two credit facility agreements that seeks to infuse a total of 10.760 million Euros into the Ghanaian corporate and small business enterprise sector.

Proparco, an arm of Agence Francais de Developpement (AFD), the executing arm of French bilateral assistance, is providing the funds. Mr Jean Francois Arnal, Resident Manager of Agence Francais de Developpement (AFD) and Mr Pierre Andre Taulet, Managing Director of SSB Bank signed the agreements on Friday.

Mr Jean Michel Berrit, French Ambassador in Ghana, witnessed the ceremony.

Mr Arnal said Proparco was committed to making available the 10 million Euro credit facility to SSB Bank to guarantee the extension of medium to long-term credit to private export oriented enterprises that required resources for expansion, restructuring and establishment of new projects.

The remaining 760,000 Euros is under AFD's Ariz programme and would enable SSB Bank to execute a global credit guarantee agreement with AFD. "Under this the guarantee will facilitate access to seed and development capital financing by businesses of all sizes through medium and long term loans as well as access to refinancing any micro finance institution and a greater involvement of SSB Bank in financing SMEs," Mr Arnal said.

He said a company could access both facilities through the SSB. The loan facilities would ease access to financing for SMEs, which constitute the core of the country's private sector and play a central role in poverty reduction, growth strategies and the development of a regional trade market.

Mr Taulet welcomed SSB Bank's collaboration with the two institutions, saying the relationship, which started in 1995, had grown tremendously.

He noted that the credit facility agreement would enhance Proparco's relationship with Ghanaian local banks that had traditionally had limited access to medium and long term resources to support their clients, especially the SMEs.

Proparco also offers extension of loans to enterprises; participates in investment funds and provision of loan and equity guarantees under an AFD-managed investment risk assurance programme called ARIZ.

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