Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Barclays willing to fund Botswana business expansion into Africa

As local firms and corporations continue to announce plans for regional markets expansion, one of the leading banks in the country, Barclays Bank Botswana, seems to be targeting opportunities in that line of business.

The bank, which has in the past partnered with companies such as leading retailer, Choppies Limited, confirmed this week that it is ‘ready’ to finance spread outs to foreign markets by other Botswana based businesses.

Local companies such as Sefalana, Choppies, Letshego, Furnmart, and Turnstar Holdings have already found their way into the African market.

The corporate Regional Head for Southern Africa, Dr Mabouba Diagne of the Barclays Africa group, says that the bank has identified corporate financing as one area that the bank should venture into.
He told Sunday Standard on Friday that the local unit of the London originating bank had identified a huge potential in the local market of the corporate financing and would soon intermediate in finance provision for any corporation intending to start operations abroad.

“We intend to use our strong retail sector business to support the corporate financing sector which has a massive potential,” he said in a brief interview this week following his visit to the local units of the bank.

Following the South African unit’s purchase of Barclays’s operations in eight African countries last year, the investment bank has access to offices, customers, staff and information in nations including Botswana, Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique.

An insider at the bank says one of Barclays bank’s goals is to increase corporate clients and win multinational business by using an online banking tool which offers a range of services, including allowing companies to use an iPad to pay salaries across several countries in multiple currencies.

Although Mabouba did not give much detail on how the bank would go about the corporate financing, it is highly likely that the bank could also consider bond sales as practiced in the other units of the group across the continent.

Available figures show that the dollar-bond sales from African governments and companies rose to a record $9.68bn last year from $6.04bn in 2012.


Read this week's paper