RWANDA – FMO, a Dutch development financer, has proposed a US$15 million investment in I&M Rwanda to expend its regional scope by increasing its footprint in East Africa’s least developed countries. 

I&M Rwanda is part of the I&M Group, a financial service provider in East Africa and long standing partner of FMO. The group was established in 1974 and operates in four countries: Kenya,Tanzania, Mauritius and Rwanda. 

I&M Bank Rwanda, headquartered in Kigali, is one of the top 3 commercial banks in Rwanda and was established in 1963. Previously, Banque Commerciale du Rwanda, it is the oldest financial institution in Rwanda. It provides financial services to corporate, SMEs and retail customer. 

I&M, which has a long history in the financial services industry, has established a wide network of correspondent banks across the globe and enjoys a strong relationship with the leading international DFIs. 

The proceeds of the loan will be used for general purposes and, on a best effort basis, for green lending (mainly hydro projects). 

Through this transaction, FMO will intensify their increasing collaboration with I&M in all countries of operations. This transaction provides FI with the opportunity to support green financing for the first time in Rwanda. 

Recently, AfricInvest Financial Inclusion Vehicle (FIVE) had acquired a minority shareholding in I&M Bank (Rwanda) through AfricInvest Evergreen Investments, a special purpose vehicle formed by AfricInvest. 

FIVE is a perpetual fund that invests in market leaders in the financial services industry that are at the frontline of innovation across the African continent. 

FIVE was backed by various institutional investors such as development finance institutions including FMO, BIO, Norfund, KfW, AfDB, and IFU, as well as by African institutional investors, pension funds and family offices. 

I&M Bank Rwanda reduced its base lending rate from 16.5 per cent to 16 per cent, as the bank moves to give its customers relief on their loan repayment burden during this time when the corona virus pandemic has dealt shocks to a number of sectors. 

The reduction, which took effect on April 15, will apply to those currently servicing loans and those who will borrow in the coming days.

The lender has over Rwf170 billion (US$180m) in loans and advances to customers, and the reduction is expected to cost the bank between Rwf80 million (US$84,700) and Rwf100 million (US$0.11m) in the initial months.