One of Ghana's leading credit guarantee firms, Eximguaranty Company Ghana Limited says it has committed no less than GH¢201 million as credit for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) as at December 2011.
The Managing Director of the company, Madam Felicity Acquah disclosed this to Radio Maxx when her company opened its Western and Central regional office in Takoradi.
Created in 1994 by the Central Bank of Ghana, Eximguaranty has supported short, medium and long-term credit requests to banks from mainly viable and well structured small and medium scale enterprises.
This intermediation capability, she said, has had a positive impact on general business growth in the country, since it increases the credit portfolio of banks for the benefit of SMEs, some of which may have inadequate or no collateral.
It has also provided internal and external guarantees to mainstream financial institutions and major contract awarding agencies in the disbursement of foreign and local credit lines, and additionally created mechanisms through which agricultural products (perishable and non-perishable) are financed and marketed.
Eximguaranty also provides working capital cover for local exporters and insurance cover for export process and manages Trust Funds as well.
According to the MD, the contribution of Eximguaranty to the country's economic growth in the last eighteen years has been enormous.
“There were challenges at the beginning but the contribution to the national growth is quite substantial. Over the eighteen years period, as at the end of December 2011, we had made GH¢201 million worth of credit guarantees for SMEs to access credit.”
The Bank of Ghana's share in Eximguaranty has been divested to the Financial Investment Trust. Other shareholders are SNNIT, NIB and the TTB which was recently acquired by Ecobank.
Branches in Kumasi and Accra serve eight regions of the country whilst that of Takoradi will serve the Western and Central regions. The Western Regional Manager, Adu Kwaaku Tabi told Radio Maxx they are in the region to facilitate the flow of credit to SMEs by providing credit guarantees and general financial risk management solutions, as the region expands due to the production of oil.
Eximguaranty's eligible business sectors include agro-business, export of non-traditional products, road construction and civil works, bonded warehousing, commodity trading, fabrication, repair or servicing of agricultural machinery, poultry and livestock farming, manufacturing, crafts and textiles, services, including tourism, transportation. Others are ICT, medical and allied services and other viable rural employment generating ventures.
Story by Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie/Radio Maxx/Takoradi