RMB Trade Finance Facility
On August 30th, 2023, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) signed a Trade Finance Guarantee (TFG) amounting to EUR 95 million to FirstRand Bank Limited of South Africa, acting through its Rand Merchant Bank Division (RMB), covering a trade loan against the risk of non-payment by the Government of Cote d’Ivoire (GoCIV).
The MIGA-covered facility will be used to provide short term loans for trade related payments aimed at potentially supporting key sectors of the economy such as healthcare, infrastructure, and agriculture, among other sectors.
The MIGA-covered facility will support short-term trade payments to suppliers of Cote d’Ivoire. These transactions pose minimal environmental and social (E&S) risks and impacts and as such, the overall portfolio risk is considered low. The project has thus been categorized as ‘FI-3’ under MIGA’s Policy on Environmental and Social Sustainability (2013). The applicable E&S requirement for this project is the MIGA Exclusion List. RMB will be responsible for screening the transactions. RMB will also be required to comply with the labor standards set forth in MIGA Performance Standard 2: Labor and Working Conditions.
The Project will help the GoCIV to unlock new liquidity from an existing lender, contributing to maintaining a diversified lending base at a time when private sector players are retreating from core markets due to current economic conditions and capital considerations. The key expected benefit of the Project is therefore increased access to trade finance, which supports continuity of the country’s access to critical imports, thereby bolstering the country’s resilience in the face of global shocks.
The Project fully aligns with the World Bank Group (WBG) crisis response “Navigating Multiple Crises, Staying the Course on Long-Term Development” and plays a role on both Pillar 1: Responding to food insecurity as well as Pillar 2: Protecting people and preserving jobs, especially in terms of its support for critical goods and of the agricultural sector.