Standard Bank has signed a US$150 million loan agreement with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) aimed at boosting trade finance in Africa.
The deal was signed by Standard Bank Group Chief Executive Jacko Maree and JBIC President and CEO, Hiroshi Watanabe in Istanbul, Turkey during the annual meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The loan is the first transaction between The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited (SBSA) and JBIC, the international arm of the Japanese government-owned Japan Finance Corporation. It is their first trade facility programme transaction in Africa.
Maree says: “This transaction is significant for Africa as Japan remains an important and strategic trade partner and JBIC can work with us towards our joint goal of supporting economic growth and development in Africa. It is good for Africa, the region and Standard Bank. These funds will enable us to increase the flow of trade into and out of Africa.”
During the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development in May 2008, the Japanese government announced that JBIC would provide financial support totaling up to US$ 2.5 billion to Africa over a 5-year period with the aim of doubling Japanese private sector investment to Africa. The SBSA loan will be used to facilitate trade finance in South Africa and other African countries.
The deal will serve as a platform for future cooperation between SBSA and JBIC across a range of different banking products and geographies.