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African banks sign US$194M deal to improve trade at Zimbabwe-SA border

A group of African banks has signed a US$194M senior debt facility to rehabilitate the Beitbridge border post, a crossing that connects Zimbabwe and SouthAfrica.

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) acted as co-ordinating bank and sponsors’ advisor and, along with Absa, Nedbank and Standard Bank, was a mandated lead arranger (MLA).

The African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) were senior lenders, with the latter also acting as a mezzanine lender.

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The senior debt facility makes up the majority of the US$297M project cost; the outstanding balance was obtained via a mezzanine debt of US$21M and through equity.

The Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC), the South African export credit agency (ECA), acted as a commercial and political risk insurer for the senior debt facility and, alongside Afreximbank, was a political risk provider for a portion of the shareholders’ equity and loan investments.

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