Loan Market Report: East Africa (Apr 2016)

Brief overview of the loan market in East Africa.

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Report includes a macro update as well as insights into the bank markets for each of: Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Key take-aways:

  • Large infrastructure projects continue to be main focus of lenders
    • Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda still in need of significant funding
    • SMEs and other sectors losing out
    • It’s all about DFI’s in this region
  • Renewable energy incl. hydropower most popular sectors
  • Soft commodity cycle somewhat mitigated
  • Stale lending structures with local lenders:
    • entrepreneurs obliged to offer personal property as collateral for business loans
    • high interest rates as house lenders rarely made to compete against fresh offers from new banks
  • ‘Family-owned’ mini conglomerates prevalent and successful, but pose several challenges:
    • lack corporate governance standards necessary to int’l lenders
    • require innovative structuring solutions to capitalise on ‘Group’ where there is no ‘common top HoldCo’
  • Repeat borrowers seeing margin reductions, demonstrating improved credit but also benefit of track record with lenders

Click here to download the report

Sophie Papasavva

Sophie Papasavva

Sophie Papasavva is the Founding Partner of EMFC Loan Syndications (“EMFC”), a boutique firm assisting companies seeking to raise bank debt. EMFC offers Loan Execution Support, acting as an additional ‘in-house’ resource to time-constrained finance teams. Prior to establishing EMFC, Sophie was a loans banker for 12 years, first as telecoms, media & technology relationship manager and later in loan syndications and sales, where she gained experience in multiple sectors such as oil & gas, mining, infrastructure, agribusiness and others. Sophie has originated, structured, executed, sold, restructured and syndicated loan financings ranging from simple bespoke bilaterals to complex multi-billion dollar, multi-currency syndicated transactions. Her expertise lies in arranging structured, bespoke financings for corporate borrowers operating in the emerging markets. To contact Sophie, please e-mail her directly at or follow her on Twitter at @Sophie_EMFC.