PTA Bank is considering a significant green-field project in Egypt with a specialised partner, but is still in confidential discussions, according to the bank President and CEO Admassu Tadesse.
Tadesse told Daily News Egypt the bank recently approved new trade finance facilities in favour of borrowers in Egypt. The bank has been financing trade between Egypt and Malawi worth hundreds of millions of dollars in the area of agribusiness and fertilisers.
PTA Bank has actively financed annual trade flows between Egypt and the region, with tens of millions of dollars. Tadesse revealed that the bank will co-finance credit-worthy trade flows within the FTA, as per the bank’s policies, subject to demand.
Tadesse said PTA Bank will also finance credit-worthy economic development and economic diversification projects in the region, to support more complementary trade and structural transformation, in line with the bank’s credit policies.
He said the bank receives more applications from southern and east African countries, where the cost of funding is higher than in Egypt, and where the banking and financial sector is far less developed. PTA Bank recorded a loans portfolio of $2.6bn for projects in Africa by the end of 2014.
“Our experience has been that borrowers in Egypt have numerous domestic and international banks, notably from the General Commerce Co. (GCC), that provide commercial financing on competitive terms with the added advantage of local currency financing options that PTA Bank generally does not offer,” Tadessa said. “PTA Bank has strong cooperation with several Chinese financial institutions to fund some activities of the COMESA region.”
The bank offers a variety of short, medium, and sometimes long-term loans on commercial terms per the bank policy, mainly in US dollars, for credit-worthy projects and enterprises, across a range of sectors, including infrastructure, agribusiness, industry, SMEs, and trade.
Tadessa said the bank does not have a mandate for sovereign or concessional lending, which is left to the large international financial institutions.
PTA Bank is a wholesale bank and operates through its head office in Bujumbura and regional offices presently in Nairobi, Harare, and Port Louis. It is not a deposit taking bank so it does not have a branch network like commercial banks, only regional offices.
The bank’s mandate is to finance and foster trade, socio-economic development, and regional economic integration across the COMESA region and other African countries.