Equity Group Profit 2019 and Equity Bank CEO Dr James Mwangi www.businesstoday.co.ke
Equity Group Limited Managing Director James Mwangi. Equity Group's profit for the nine months ended September 30 have fallen by Sh2.5 billion.

Equity Group is firming up plans to raise Ksh50 billion from international lenders in the next three years to boost its liquidity and capital positions, Chief Executive James Mwangi has said.

In a virtual call with investors and shareholders in a recent Annual General Meeting (AGM), Mwangi said that the board is on a quest to sound out global lenders regarding different types of loans including medium term and long term debt.

This will take the group’s borrowed funds beyond the Ksh56.7 billion it has in its books at the end of December 2019. Borrowing stood at Ksh45.1 billion in the previous financial year.

“We anticipate we shall be able to get up to Ksh50billion of liquidity through debts as it was demonstrated by World Bank releasing Ksh5 billion to help us support SMEs,” said Mr Mwangi.

Equity’s Ksh22.89 billion loan or about 40 per cent of its current borrowings will mature by March 2023, the information in its latest annual report shows.

Equity Bank, the banking wing of the group is set to receive a Ksh5.3 billion ($50 million) from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private equity wing of the World Bank.

In a statement, Equity said the IFC loan will be lent out to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) adversely affected by the COVID-19 P******c.

Equity has given every indication that it is adopting a conservative approach including recalling dividends to shareholders and pulling out of a deal to acquire regional banks.

“Forfeiture of dividends was a good gesture to all our partners that we are also in need as we called on them to support our customers,” Mr Mwangi told investors.

Equity had borrowed a cumulative Sh17.4 billion from IFC as of December 2019, making it the largest lender to the group.

Other top lenders include the African Development Bank (Ksh10.7 billion), KFW Deg (Ksh10.4 billion), ResponsAbility (Ksh2.56 billion) and European Investment Bank (Ksh2.34 billion.)

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