IFC, Africa Capitalization Fund Investment Supports Growth and Access to Finance in Nigeria
Lagos, August 8, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Africa Capitalization Fund, a private equity fund managed by IFC Asset Management Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of IFC, announced today that they will together provide $70 million in convertible loans to Diamond Bank. The financing will support growth and access to finance for smaller businesses in Nigeria by allowing Diamond Bank to expand its lending program and ability to offer financial services to underserved market segments, including micro, small, and medium enterprises and agricultural firms.
IFC Advisory Services will provide further assistance to help Diamond Bank enhance its range of financial services for agricultural sector clients.
Alex Otti, CEO of Diamond Bank, said, “This investment will help Diamond Bank better serve our clients in Nigeria’s micro, small, and medium enterprises and agribusiness sector. It also will strengthen our capital base, supporting our growth.”
“Our strategy in Nigeria is to support banks in reaching smaller businesses, which form the backbone of the economy,” said Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, IFC Nigeria Country Manager. “By working with a long-term partner like Diamond Bank we can increase access to finance for those critical sectors, supporting sustainable economic growth and job creation.”
Marcos Brujis, Head of the Africa Capitalization Fund, said, “The investment provides a unique opportunity for the Africa Capitalization Fund to support Diamond Bank’s expansion into key economic sectors that have relatively low banking penetration and, therefore, offer significant growth potential for investors.”
Diamond Bank is a leading bank in Nigeria, with over 200 branches around the country. IFC’s partnership with Diamond Bank began in 2005, with an initial investment to help it expand lending to small and medium enterprises. IFC has worked with Diamond Bank since 2001 in various areas, including providing long-term financing and advisory services to support its business.