By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has closed a EUR 59.2 million Intra Africa Investment Finance Facility to finance Vista Group Holdings SA’s acquisition of majority stakes in Banque Internationale pour le Commerce et l’Industrie de la Guinée (BICIGUI) and Banque Internationale pour le Commerce, l’Industrie et l’Agriculture du Burkina (BICIAB).
The stakes in the two banks, which operate in Guinea and Burkina Faso respectively, are being acquired from BNP Paribas who is exiting these markets for operational reasons. The shift to African control under Vista will unlock a major evolution in the services offered by BICIGUI and BICIAB, including agency banking outlets, affordable mobile banking solutions and increased availability of microfinance.
Enhancing the offering from the two banks, Vista will create opportunities for both direct and indirect employment in Burkina Faso and Guinea. Its strategy will reach more of these countries’ underbanked populations, bringing a greater proportion of people into the formal economy and offering them the full benefits of a broad spectrum of financial services.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said: “Guinea and Burkina Faso are both nations with huge potential. I am confident that with Vista’s leadership, BICIGUI and BICIAB can take a major step forward and act as a catalyst for broad-based growth and prosperity.
“This deal is a signal to the wider financial community: these countries are open for business and ready for investment. By channeling African Direct Investment, we can create new jobs, unlock business potential, and bring valuable services to unbanked communities.”