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Africa Finance Corp. secures new funders from South Korea, Dubai

Jan. 18, 2022 - 21:30 By Bloomberg
Africa Finance Corp., which focuses on infrastructure across the continent, raised $400 million in a syndicated loan to bolster its balance sheet as the region seeks to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The three-year facility, the first by the development-finance institution since 2018, was 2.5 times oversubscribed and was increased from an initial target of $300 million, it said in a statement on Tuesday. While the funds mostly replaced maturing debt, the fund raising attracted new lenders from South Africa, the Middle East and South Korea.

“The continent needs a lot of resources to recover from Covid,” said Banji Fehintola, AFC’s senior director and treasurer. “It’s important to keep diversifying our funding sources.”

The loan, secured from a group of 12 banks, is part of a plan to boost total borrowing this year by a net $2 billion by using a mix of loans, bonds and other instruments. While $2.5 billion to $3 billion will be borrowed in total, some of the money will be used to settle liabilities.

Absa Group Ltd. of South Africa, Dubai’s Mashreqbank PSC and Korea Development Bank were first-time lenders to AFC, he said. Standard Chartered Plc and Bank of China Ltd. were also among banks that offered money.

This year’s funding could include a Kimchi Bond, a security sold in foreign currency in the South Korean market, as well as so-called sustainable loans, Fehintola said.

The AFC was founded in 2007 and has invested more than $9.8 billion in projects in 35 African countries. (Bloomberg)