Orascom borrows $170m from Afreximbank for African expansion

29 January 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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Egypt-based Orascom Investment Holding (OIH) has entered into an agreement with the African Export-Import bank (Afreximbank) for a loan of $170 million.

The funds will support Orascom in the delivery of its short and medium-term expansion plans across the continent. The company has investments in Egypt, North Korea, Lebanon, Pakistan and other North African and Middle-Eastern countries with a focus of telecoms, media and technology.

In September, the conglomerate completed the $90 million sale of its MENA subsea cable, connecting Italy with the Middle East and India, to Telecom Egypt.

At the signing of the agreement, Benedict Oramah, president of Afreximbank, said the deal is part of bank’s strategy to encourage intra-African investments and export manufacturing, using its intra-African investment finance facility.

He went on to add that the deal creates a great opportunity for OIH’s targeted investments in companies across Africa to support its transformation. Increase their production capacity and produce higher quality exports through better value.

"Our collaboration opens the potential for our two institutions to strengthen their relationship and mutual cooperation in order to make significant contributions towards unlocking the full potentials of intra-African investment," added Oramah.

Naguib Sawiris, chairman of OIH, echoed his sentiments saying that the company is currently focused on African investments, adding that the continent would only progress through intra-African trade and investment growth. Therefore, Orascom would explore business and investment opportunities referred to it by Afreximbank in countries like Rwanda, Togo, Eretria, Nigeria and Sao Tome.

Sawiris also commended Afreximbank and its team for their professionalism and speedy turnaround regarding the transaction.