IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a US$185mn loan to The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited (SBSA) to help it expand its COVID-19 lending program to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporates affected by the pandemic.
IFC’s loan will help eligible SBSA clients to finance immediate COVID-19 relief and long-term investments, including the purchase and production of goods and services needed to cope with the effects of the pandemic and lockdown in South Africa.
Lungisa Fuzile, CEO of SBSA, said, “We take our responsibility as a corporate citizen seriously and value the ongoing collaboration with IFC. This transaction reflects Standard Bank’s commitment to supporting our clients through this pandemic.”
Adamou Labara, IFC’s Country Manager for South Africa, said, “This is an unprecedented crisis, with devastating health, economic and social consequences. Our experience from past shocks has taught us that keeping companies solvent is key to saving jobs and limiting the economic damage. That’s why it’s critical to work with institutions like Standard Bank to help companies access finance that will enable them to continue to operate during this time.”
The economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to be substantial in South Africa, where many businesses are struggling as regional and global activities are disrupted across the tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, and other sectors.
IFC works with financial institutions in South Africa to help increase access to finance for SMEs, which play a critical role creating jobs.
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