SMEs To Get Up To USD 4.8 Million From Bank of Kigali

by Business Watch Team
Bank of Kigali

Bank of Kigali Plc has launched the first of its kind SME Centre in Rwanda’s banking industry targeting small and medium-sized enterprises in need of growth and capital expansion.

The Rwanda Stock Exchange and Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed lender said the SME Centre, located in CHIC Building-2nd Floor, will support SME businesses by offering them a wide variety of products including direct loan facilities, contingent loans, and trade finance support such as letters of credit.

“This specialized center is part of the bank’s strategy to get closer to SME customers with the aim of understanding their needs and to offer tailor-made financial and non-financial services while serving them fast and efficiently,” said Bank of Kigali CEO Dr. Diane Karusisi.

SMEs will get funding of up to USD 4.8 million, above which a customer qualifies to borrow under a corporate business account.

An SME in Rwanda is generally considered to be a business with a turnover not exceeding USD 9.8 million and or a balance sheet size not exceeding USD 9.8 million.

The range of loans available includes LPO finance facilities, temporary overdrafts, equipment loans, various bank guarantees, import/export facilities, and standby letters of credit among others.

The interest rate charge is negotiable on the basis of the prevailing base rate plus a negotiated margin.

The repayment period is also negotiable, typically ranging from 3 months to two years, though some facilities such as Asset Finance Facilities may stretch up to five years.

“The aim is to reach out to as many SMEs as possible given their contribution to Rwanda’s GDP yet a good number are not banked or have no access to bank services,” noted Dr. Karusisi.

Every Bank of Kigali branch will have a special space for SME owners where they can find a BK employee specifically tasked to support them.

Bank of Kigali has over 200,000 SME clients. The newly opened SME Centre is expected to serve over 100 customers daily.

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