FirstRand Bank Ltd (FRB) is the second largest South African bank by the size of its balance sheet (equiv. to USD 88bn at 30/06/2019). FirstRand holds a leading position in financing the agricultural sector thanks to its FNB and WesBank brands.
The project involves supporting FirstRand’s development in agriculture transformation via a USD 50m senior credit line with a 12-year maturity. Agriculture transformation, a national priority, aims to extend farmland ownership to non-white populations. The stated objective is to strengthen the country’s stability by reducing the acute inequalities in access to land inherited from the country’s history, as well as food security and rural development.
The project will support the development of a recent FRB activity, agriculture transformation, which is dedicated to Black Economic Empowerment (BEE). It aims to finance agricultural joint ventures (JV) set up and owned by commercial farmers, its employees or other “emerging” farmers. FRB’s agriculture transformation loans finance the acquisition of land, the purchase of livestock, the expansion of production sites, improvements in production unit infrastructure and working capital financing. On the economic front, the project will support the creation and development of small and medium-sized farm businesses jointly owned by emerging and commercial farmers in South Africa.
This information is given at the time of signature, without prejudice to any developments in the operation/project