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€50m IFC investment to support SMEs, energy efficiency projects

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has arranged €50-million financing to promote the small and medium-sized (SME) business sector in South Africa, IFC VP for sub-Saharan Africa Thierry Tanoh announced this week.
The funding would allow Mercantile Bank to increase lending to smaller businesses, including financing energy efficient and renewable energy projects to reduce energy costs and carbon dioxide emissions.

The IFC granted a loan of up to €48.4-million and the World Bank-administered Clean Technology Fund a second loan of up to €1.6-million.

Mercantile Bank CEO Dave Brown said the partnership funding would enhance the bank’s capacity to support the development of private business in South Africa and open up opportunities to finance energy efficient projects.

The investment aimed to assist South African SMEs to more easily obtain the funds they needed to grow, supporting the long-term development of the sector.

The World Bank member’s financing in South African Rand would reduce risk for the smaller businesses by enabling access to long-term local currency funding to spur economic development.

In the 2010 financial year, more than $1.64-billion of the IFC’s global investments went to finance renewable energy, energy efficiency and other climate-related business, up from $1.03-billion in 2009.

Additional information:
News date: 01/07/2011

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