South African Banks Provide Funding for Beitbridge Border Revamp

Zimbabwean government Professor Mthuli Ncube

HARARE (Bloomberg) – Lenders including Standard Bank Group Ltd. and FirstRand Ltd. provided $130 million of loans for an upgrade of Southern Africa’s busiest border crossing.

The financing for the Beitbridge border between South Africa and Zimbabwe includes the $130 million commercial debt tranche arranged by FirstRand’s Rand Merchant Bank unit, Standard Bank, Absa Group Ltd. and Nedbank Group Ltd., according to an article paid for by RMB and published by Johannesburg-based website BusinessLive. It also includes a $65 million development-finance institution tranche from Afreximbank and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund.

Zimbabwe’s finance minister, Mthuli Ncube, tweeted that the funding showed investors’ confidence in his country’s economic prospects. A group of private-equity firms with a concession to operate the border post has said it will invest $300 million on the upgrade.

The Beitbridge crossing was closed for most traffic last month to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. On average about 25,000 people pass through Beitbridge daily, according to Zimbabwean officials.

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