Sunday, September 20, 2020

Barclays declares growing appetite for project finance in Africa

Barclays Bank Africa Head of Natural Resources Shirley Webber says the African continent provides unlimited opportunities for corporate and government integrated banking solutions in mining infrastructure development, mineral beneficiation and transport networks.

Speaking in Gaborone recently, Webber gave an example of the upcoming multi billion Pula Trans Kalahari Railway (TKR), which will link Walvis Bay in Namibia to Botswana and the rest of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

Moreover,┬áshe said, Botswana as Africa’s largest diamond mining country enjoys a good banking relationship with Barclays due to its smart partnership with De Beers and the Anglo American group.

“Mining is very important to us as Barclays and we have banking solutions for Botswana’s commodities value chain, in particular diamonds, coal, copper, coal-bed methane gas, to name some. These commodities provide an opportunity to demonstrate our financial capabilities. We have developed a good working relationship over the years with the Government of Botswana and the rest of the corporate world. We now have in abundance an inexhaustible range of mining solutions and products tailor-made to suit each mineral commodity. In addition, Barclays has a funding stake in┬áBotswana’s abundant high quality coal┬áresource a global critical energy source,” she said.
 
These products and services include resource specific taxes; revision of license allocations; local ownership or indigenization programmes; beneficiation prior to export; and limited infrastructure installations toward creating a conducive industrial environment. Based on the latest Barclays Global Resources,┬áAfrica will continue to be an important player in resource production as it has a large share of the world’s resources which are distributed throughout the continent. Africa resources will continue as an attractive investment opportunity with the switch from majors to junior miners, and mining groups for selective asset accumulation. This shows, however, ongoing appetite for project finance from all banks operating in Africa.

Asia and specifically China (through SOC’s) remain a leading inward acquirer and investor across the region. Apart from the focus on strategic commodities Barclays has over the years demonstrated ability to accept political and legislative uncertainty including higher risk tolerance. The Group is prepared to leverage governments and align inward investment with regional infrastructure. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays has extensive product offering in over 50 countries in Europe, Americas, Africa and Asia; employing 140,000 people.

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.