Afreximbank leads NRZ funding

Tinashe Kairiza/Nyasha Chingono

THE African Export–Import Bank, Afreximbank, has been appointed by the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) as the mandated lead arranger and co-ordinating bank to mobilise the US$400 million required for the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) recapitalisation project, the Zimbabwe Independent has established.

The game-changing move came this week ahead of the August 14 deadline for the expiry of the framework agreement of the deal involving NRZ and a consortium comprising DIDG and South African rail, port and pipeline company, Transnet.

The framework agreement was extended by six months from February 14 during the Zimbabwe-South Africa Bi-national Commission meetings in Harare in March, with the strong support of Foreign and International Trade minister Sibusiso Moyo.

Information obtained from governemnt and NRZ officials, as well as documents seen by the Independent, show the engagement of Afreximbank on the project was agreed upon this week and is expected to add implementation momentum into the process.

Details show Afreximbank will provide US$100 million for the NRZ revival project and co-ordinate funding from a number of regional banks which have given indicative term sheets. The syndicated funding totals between US$700 million and US$1 billion.

According to the initial financing term sheets, seen by the Independent, Standard Bank was ready to shell out between US$100 million and US$137 million, Absa (US$200 million), Nedbank (US$200 million) and Nedbank Zimbabwe (US$17,5 million) and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (US$100 million).

Ecobank Kenya had also expressed interest to channel US$100 million towards the project, while Trade and Development Bank (TDB), formerly PTA Bank, would provide US$75 million.

Latest information shows the term sheets submitted to NRZ by DIDG this week indicate Afreximbank will provide US$100 million; TDB US$75 million; Standard Bank US$317 million (minimum hold US$100 million); Absa US$200 million (minimum US$50 million) and Nedbank US$200 million (minimum US$50 million).

Local financial institutions will also contribute. Some of the institutions which have indicated interest in the project include Old Mutual, Imara Asset Mangement, ZimRe Holdings, Steward Bank and the National Social Security Authority. CBZ Bank was also initailly interested in the project.

A senior government official told the Independent yesterday that Afreximbank has now taken the role of the lead bank and co-ordinator.“There has been a letter of engagement sent to NRZ this week showing that DIDG has appointed Afrexim as the mandated lead arranger and co-ordinator of the process to raise US$400 million for the project,” the official said.“This is a […]

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