Ecobank Group is one of the main pan-African banking groups. The bank came about through the will of African businessmen to establish a bank that would support the economic growth of the continent and started its activities by opening a first subsidiary in Togo in March 1988. It subsequently developed in West Africa in the 1990s (opening of subsidiaries in Nigeria, Benin, Ghana and Burkina Faso).
Ecobank is today an integrated regional commercial bank which employees over 19,500 people and has over 1,280 branches and offices in 39 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
The project involves guarantees given in the context of documentary credit operations. Ecobank will be the final beneficiary of the guarantee scheme: PROPARCO will guarantee four Ecobank subsidiaries in West African LDCs (Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali) in the context of the opening of documentary credits. These four subsidiaries are active in countries emerging from crisis (or still in crisis) and suffer constraints in the development of their activities to fund trade finance operations, as they experience difficulties in finding confirming banks for the documentary credits they issue.
This operation has a twofold interest:
1- Positive impacts on the economies of the four countries concerned:
- support for the growth of beneficiary countries and especially in the current macroeconomic and political context characterized by post-crisis situations (Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Conakry) or security tensions (Mali and, to a lesser extent, Burkina Faso). The project should contribute to creating or maintaining employment. Over the next 5 years, over 1,860 jobs will be created or maintained, including 44% held by women.
- increase in the resources available to issuing banks due to the reduction, allowed by a guarantee, of the level of collateral deposits they need to make with confirming banks.
2- A new product which complements PROPARCO’s range of products and meets its clients’ needs. These guarantee operations, which historically have low loss ratios, are often considered by the development finance institutions that propose them as a useful tool to establish a business relationship with new banking clients, a relationship which can subsequently be expanded with other types of longer-term financing.