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AfDB Plans $1 Billion Trade-Finance Program for Smaller Lenders

The African Development Bank plans to roll out a trade finance program of as much as $1.5 billion by the end of the year to meet demand from smaller financial institutions on the continent.

The institution’s $1 billion Trade Finance Facilitation Program may be increased to $1.5 billion, Mohamed Kalif, divisional manager at the Tunis-based bank, said in an interview yesterday in Mauritius. “It’s going to the board of governors on Nov. 28” for approval, he said at Trou aux Biches, north of Port Louis, the capital. “We already have deals lined up.”

While major African banks have been able to raise funds from capital markets, second- and third-tier lenders are under greater pressure to meet their clients’ needs as their costs are higher, Kalif said.

The new program, which will operate for as long as four years, replaces the 2009 $500 million Global Trade Liquidity Program with about 200 financial institutions, he said.

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