(Ecofin Agency) - The International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced on June 17 it has decided to invest $100 million in Zenith Bank, Nigeria’s leading banking group by turnover in 2019. This loan is part of an $8 billion fast-track funding program announced in March 2020 to support the commercial activity of IFC partners in dealing with the pandemic.
It represents the first investment in Africa of the fast-track financing program implemented by the World Bank's private arm in response to COVID-19. According to the IFC, the financial support will help Zenith Bank (an existing IFC client and Africa’s 6th largest bank) to overcome the challenges resulting from the ongoing, limited access to foreign exchange, working capital, and trade finance.
Zenith will use the resource to finance companies operating in Nigeria's health, pharmaceutical, food, and trade sectors in this difficult context. Another Nigerian bank awaiting IFC support is First City Monument Bank which has applied for $50 million.