The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, this week announced a five-year loan of N$180 million to Purros Investments (Proprietary) Limited, a special purpose vehicle created to support employee share ownership in Standard Bank Namibia Holdings Limited (SBNH), the holding company of Standard Bank Namibia.
Purros acquired 10 percent of SBNH from its parent, Standard Bank Group, for the benefit of the bank’s employees in Namibia, who are classified as historically disadvantaged, in line with the Financial Sector Charter (2008).
Namibia remains one of the most unequal societies in the world and faces significant socio-economic challenges.
The IFC offers long-term local currency funding that is not readily available in the market and provides an endorsement of the transparency and fairness of the employee share ownership transaction.
The financing is made possible through IFC’s inaugural Namib bond, the first by a supra-national Triple-A issuer in Namibia, announced in March 2016. The Namib bond expands the size of Namibia’s domestic bond market and accelerates the development of the non-sovereign sector in a market dominated by government bonds.
“Standard Bank Group is committed to playing its part in addressing the historical inequalities in Namibia and creating new opportunities in a sustainable manner. We look forward to ensuring our employees have a long-term stake in the success of our business and the economy of Namibia,” said Vetumbuavi Mungunda, chief executive of Standard Bank Namibia.
Standard Bank is the largest African bank by assets with a footprint across 20 African countries. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, it is listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.