RMB plans equity funding for businesses

Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria is committed to providing equity funding for businesses that allows them to un-lend into some other segments.

The bank is also, working with its clients and helping them to understand how they can intentionally create sustainability in their supply chains by infusing policies that specifically focus on women.

“As an investment bank, typically the micro-level, small-scale woman is not a target market. However, there’s lot of interesting businesses that we’re now finding that we can support, either by providing equity or providing debt that allows them to un-lend into some of these segments,” Ngover Ihyembe-Nwankwo, head coverage, RMB Nigeria said.

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Speaking on ‘Rise of the Low-Touch Economy: Financial and Digital Inclusion in a Pandemic World’, at the Forbes Leading Women Summit, recently, she said the banking is incubating businesses, through a lot of capacity-building, educating, encouraging employees of the bank to volunteer for organizations.

“Also, encouraging us to teach, to learn and to support businesses by providing pro bono services, helping them to do their accounting, understanding what it means to put a credit application in place and knowing what it means to get yourself prepared,” she said.

“So, in a country like Nigeria, where I am (and I use that to extrapolate for most of sub-Saharan Africa) you find that women are disproportionately excluded. One, because they’re generally earning less, so when you try do a comparison and you’re trying to offer credit, in many cases women just don’t quite qualify.

“You also find that a lot of the roles that women are involved in are really at the micro-level. So then what happens is that they’re not a natural focus for financial institutions and that’s where the conversation around digital inclusion has been held and pushed for many years,” Ihyembe-Nwankwo, said.

Moderating a session on “The Nigeria Pension Industry” at the Nigeria Finance Online conference organised in partnership with the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) and the ministry of finance, budget and national planning, Kemi Owonubi, head of corporate finance, Rand Merchant Bank, said, “We have quite a few pension funds in the industry today, if you look at other markets you can see only four or five large pension funds, but we have more than that in Nigeria (about twenty-two pension funds). We’ve seen a gradual move around consolidation but it’s still very early stages”.

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