GCB Bank To Obtain US$117 Million In New Trade Finance Facility
Ghana's GCB Bank released a special trade finance facility in early February at a launch amount of US$50 million. And now, by the middle of the month, the bank managed to raise an astounding US$117 million - almost twice the original launch amount! From what we hear, this huge amount of money will be used to trade various items like equipment, machinery, energy, metals, soft commodities, and more.
The agent for the facility was First Abu Dhabi Bank, while the bookrunner and coordinator were Africa Trade Finance. The legal counsels of the transaction were Dentons and Bentsi-Enchill Letsa & Ankomah. The deal has been six months, but it might be further extended if all goes well.
The money was raised from eight different lenders. The executive director of Africa Trade Finance, Rima Kalai, elaborated that this pool of investors was mostly banked from different parts of the world - the US, the Gulf Cooperation Council region, South Africa, North Africa, Switzerland, and the UK.
Christian Karam, the director of Africa Trade Finance, told GTR that they are glad about the deal's timing. It arrived when Ghana was experiencing several challenges like a tight credit stance because of a difficult operating environment. He added that this difficult environment refers to the upcoming loan repayment challenges, temporary closures due to the pandemic, attempts to contain the COVID virus, and the overall slump in the Ghana economy. He also added that the recent downfall of the Ghanian sovereign has also affected the commercial banks.
Karam said that the commitment of the various lenders for this deal is mainly due to the borrower's strong liquidity. He further added that its position in the sector is another major contributor since most financial institutes are still a safe and good risk.
But this is certainly not the first time the Africa Trade Finance corporation is helping out a commercial lender in Ghana. Previously, they extended their support to CalBank in August 2019. They acted as the bookrunner and coordinator and helped them secure an impressive US$100 million from 14 lenders.
CalBank has already signed another syndicate finance facility with Africa Trade Finance - a US$128 million deal that was finalized in November 2021. It marks their 4th year of partnership with the bank.