Standard Chartered invests US$57 million in Zambian Energy Corporation

stanchart Kaupaickehran wikimediaThe bank is continuing to increase its private equity investments across different African sectors. (Image source: Kaupaickehran/Wikimedia Commons)Standard Chartered's private equity arm has paid US$57mn to acquire a 25.8 per cent stake in Zambian Energy Corporation

This is the British financial firm's first investment in Africa’s power sector.

Ronald Tamale, director of Standard Chartered’s Africa private equity division, said, "Private equity is becoming an increasingly useful tool in supporting the growth of African companies who have achieved local success, but now need structured capital and specialist expertise to develop a profitable, pan-African presence."

The bank is continuing to increase its private equity investments across different African sectors. In January 2014, it bought 13 per cent in Botswana-listed supermarket chain Choppies Enterprises for nearly US$60mn.

Standard Chartered said it will also focus on developing small and medium enterprises (SME) in Africa and has revealed that it will bring around US$10.7bn into sub-Saharan Africa’s local economy. The company also stated that it would increase its annual lending to SMEs by 45 per cent over the next five years, adding nearly US$3bn to Africa’s small business sector.

Marianne Mwaniki, head of social and economic impact at Standard Chartered, said, “In markets where credit is difficult to find, once SMEs do have access, they increase their productivity significantly.”

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