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By Roxanne Henderson and Ray Ndlovu
(Bloomberg) – Lenders including Standard Bank Group and FirstRand provided $130m (R1.8bn) of loans for an upgrade of Southern Africa’s busiest border crossing.
A syndicate of banks comprising Rand Merchant Bank, ABSA, Nedbank and Standard Bank availed part of the USD 300 million for the redevelopment of Beitbridge Boarder Post. This shows confidence in the Zimbabwe economy, and future growth in regional trade activity.
— Prof. Mthuli Ncube (@MthuliNcube) February 13, 2021
The financing for the Beitbridge border between South Africa and Zimbabwe includes the $130m commercial debt tranche arranged by FirstRand’s Rand Merchant Bank unit, Standard Bank, Absa Group and Nedbank Group, according to an article paid for by RMB and published by Johannesburg-based website BusinessLive. It also includes a $65m development-finance institution tranche from Afreximbank and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund.
Zimbabwe’s finance minister, Mthuli Ncube, tweeted that the funding showed investors’ confidence in his country’s economic prospects. A group of private-equity firms with a concession to operate the border post has said it will invest $300m on the upgrade.
The Beitbridge crossing was closed for most traffic last month to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. On average about 25,000 people pass through Beitbridge daily, according to Zimbabwean officials.
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