Platinum, Premier Credit eye Sh4.6 billion IFC loan

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Platinum, Premier Credit eye Sh4.6 billion IFC loan


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IFC Regional Director for Eastern Africa Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The loan is part of a total of $45 million (Sh5.2 billion) financing that includes their affiliates Platinum Credit Uganda and Premier Credit Uganda.
  • The microfinance firms are owned by Mauritius-based Platcorp Holdings, which will guarantee the loans.
  • Platinum Credit Kenya has multiple services including loans to civil servants, vehicle owners, SMEs and import financing.

Microfinance finance firms Platinum Credit Kenya and Premier Credit Kenya are set to get a loan of $40 million (Sh4.6 billion) from the International Finance Corporation and its partners to fund their lending business.

The loan is part of a total of $45 million (Sh5.2 billion) financing that includes their affiliates Platinum Credit Uganda and Premier Credit Uganda.

The microfinance firms are owned by Mauritius-based Platcorp Holdings, which will guarantee the loans.

“The proposed project consists of an up to $45 million senior loan to subsidiaries of Platcorp Holdings Limited, namely Platinum Credit Kenya, Premier Credit Kenya, Platinum Credit Uganda and Premier Credit Uganda,” IFC said in its investment disclosures.

“IFC’s own account will be up to $20 million in Kenya and up to $5 million in Uganda, with the remaining $20 million mobilised for the Kenya entities through B1/Parallel loans on a best-effort basis.”

The global financier added that the transactions seek to provide liquidity to the microfinance firms to support the growth of their lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Platinum Credit Kenya has multiple services including loans to civil servants, vehicle owners, SMEs and import financing. Premier Credit Kenya offers general business and consumer loans.

The microfinance firms offer mostly short-term loans but also disburse medium-term credit facilities. The interest rate on the loans — on an annualised basis — is significantly higher than the current average of 12.1 percent for banks.

The small lenders are popular with individuals and SMEs because of their more personalised service and ease of accessing credit, especially for those that have developed longstanding relationships with the institutions.

IFC said the loans it is mobilizing will help the institutions to extend their current average borrowing tenor of less than two years to meet their long-term funding needs.

“The proposed loan of up to $45 million is a 3-year senior loan, with a 1-year grace period,” IFC said.

Platcorp Holdings owns nine operating microfinance companies in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Lesotho, Zambia and South Africa. It manages over $224 million (Sh26 billion) in assets, has 574 branches and about 10,000 employees servicing over 700,000 active customers.

“The model relies on a brick-and-mortar approach, operating optimally through small branches, enabling a high touch relationship with their customers,” IFC said.

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