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Stanbic increases lending to agro sector

KALONDE NYATI, Lusaka
STANBIC Bank has steadily increased lending to Zambia’s agriculture sector in the last two years to over K1 billion as at December 2016, as the firm solidifies its commitment to grow the sector.
This is to complement Government’s efforts in diversification to contribute to jobs and wealth creation.
Stanbic Bank managing director Charles Mudiwa said the lending portfolio has grown from K400 million in 2014 to over K1 billion.
“We have provided over K1 billion to support agriculture [sector] in Zambia to contribute to economic diversification and transformation. We want to grow agriculture, mining, SMEs [small and medium-scale enterprises] and other sectors,” Mr Mudiwa said yesterday at the launch of a new banking product dubbed ‘Achiever Banking’.
Achiever Banking is an account that offers multiple services such as funeral plan, financial protection and transport services for school-runs.
He said the bank, which has facilitated the development of several shopping malls in Lusaka and the Copperbelt and the inclusion of North-Western Province to the national grid, among other projects, will remain a relevant player in Zambia’s growth.
“We are the single largest financer of shopping malls in the country, supported the mining sector to a tune of US$3 billion and provided US$165 million to Zesco Limited to add North-Western Province to the national grid, supported SMEs, and all these projects demonstrate our commitment,” Mr Mudiwa said.
At the same event, Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska said banks are vital institutions in any society, as they significantly contribute to the development of an economy through the facilitation of the business.
Dr Msiska said in a speech read for him by Cabinet permanent secretary in charge of special duties Ronald Simwinga that banks are also important as they facilitate the development of saving plans and are instruments of the government’s monetary strategy, among others.

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