A loan guaranty from Stanbic Bank Botswana will support lending to diamond manufacturers and polishing companies in Botswana.
Stanbic Bank Botswana, a member of Standard Bank Group, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US Government’s development finance institution and Botswana Finance LLC, a subsidiary of Lazare Kaplan International (LKI), has signed a USD125-million loan guaranty, which will encourage and support lending to diamond manufacturers and polishing companies while allowing the organisations to share credit risk.
In keeping with Standard Bank’s objective of driving growth in Africa, this loan guaranty will help diversify Botswana’s economy, drive the development of the local financial sector and give local companies access to financing. Stanbic Bank has been lending to diamond beneficiation companies in Botswana for more than 10 years and this facility will support and allow the bank to expand the availability of financing for the sector.
“With the support of OPIC financing, this project will keep the value-adding process of the diamond supply chain in Botswana, promoting local job creation, diversifying economic growth and bringing global trade opportunities,” says OPIC president and CEO Ray W Washburne, who recently visited the country. “The project will have a significant impact in local communities and further the country’s economic development,” adds Washburne.
Samuel Minta, acting CEO of Stanbic Bank Botswana, says, “We expect continued growth in Botswana’s diamond beneficiation to have positive residual effects on several sectors, including electricity, finance and business. We are proud that this loan guaranty will play a strong role in the continued economic growth of the country,” says Minta.
This is the second tranche of a USD250-million OPIC loan guaranty. Announced in July, OPIC’s ‘Connect Africa’ initiative seeks to invest USD1-billion over three years to projects that support telecommunications and internet access, value chains that connect producers of raw materials to end users and critical infrastructure, such as roads, railways, ports and airports.