National Bank of Malawi (NBM) says part of the Euro 30 million (about K25 billion, facility, it has signed with the European Investment Bank will go towards training staff at the bank modern ways of managing medium and small enterprises (SMEs).
NBM Chief Executive Officer, George Partridge, said the facility will run on a paltry seven percent interest rate and will be given out in US dollars.
“I am pleased to advise that National Bank is one of the few banks in this country with a fully-fledged department just dedicated to agriculture. I can confirm to the EIB and the international community that National Bank will continue to be run in a professional manner and abide by high ethical, environmental and integrity standards,” Partridge said.
Partridge will be leaving NBM at the end of this month to become Group Chief Executive Officer for conglomerate Press Corporation Limited (PCL) which owns majority stake in NBM, among other blue chip companies it has invested in.
Partridge said the facility comes with a free capacity building portion through the Frankfurt School of Finance, which will train NBM staff in modern ways of managing SMEs.
He further said the facility also includes a programme to train trainers at the Malawi Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi.
“We are proud that NBM with the support of the EIB is making a positive mark in the agriculture sector by providing long term finance which is not normally available on the local market,” Partridge said.
Speaking earlier, EIB Head of Financial Sector Division, Robert Schofield, said EIB is happy to partner with NBM in the facility which will foster private sector investment in the produce market.
“This facility will have an impact on Malawi’s economy as it will involve private sector growth and investment in the produce market and the storage facility will be open to third parties to store their produce and avoid post-harvest loses,” Schofield said.