Making funding available to African SME traders to help reduce the trade finance gap in Africa.

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Our role

The first in a pipeline of innovative solutions, this transaction combines the legal, product and market expertise in trade finance and capital markets of Investec and Frontclear, to address the pressing need for accessible financial support for SMEs and thereby foster the growth of SME trade portfolios, ultimately driving socio-economic progress across African societies. 

This product addresses the liquidity and capital challenges on the continent by utilising local African banks’ government bond holdings as collateral, in order to obtain additional cross-border trade finance through a repo structure. Ultimately, enabling them to comply with regulation and still be able to make trade finance available to its SME traders.  

Winner in The Digital Banker Global SME Banking Innovation Awards 2024 - Outstanding SME Trade Finance Solution 

‘Investec has successfully pioneered a structured funding solution for African SME traders thereby helping address the existing trade finance gap in Africa. By enabling the provision of liquidity through a development finance entity, the unique structure opens up funding for SME borrowers who are not usually accessible from both a credit and KYC perspective and is a pragmatic reflection of Investec’s purpose of ‘living in, not off society’ – George Wilson.

Find out more about how trade finance product tackles Africa’s trade gap.

About Frontclear

Frontclear is a development finance institution that aims to support stable and inclusive money markets in emerging and developing countries. Frontclear provides credit guarantees and technical assistance to facilitate access and liquidity in the interbank markets, especially for local financial institutions. Frontclear’s global technical assistance program works in partnership with central banks to develop the financial infrastructure, legal environment and the skills and capacity of the domestic market participants. Frontclear is funded by European development finance institutions and global development agencies. Frontclear is rated A- by Fitch and Baa3 by Moody’s and is furthermore counter-guaranteed by KfW, a AAA-rated German development Bank.


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