Afreximbank sets up $200 million facility to finance imports in Zimbabwe
The facility will ensure the availability of internationally transferable funds to settle for import transactions.The African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) has released a $200 million facility to finance imports in Zimbabwe, as the country faces a liquidity crunch.
Afreximbank's Regional Manager for Southern Africa told the Financial Gazette that his institution has vowed to continue supporting Zimbabwe "during these challenging times", adding that "the facility will ensure the availability of internationally transferable funds to settle for import transactions by exporters who will benefit from some of the incentive measures being put in place by the authorities".
He noted that help would be triggered by the central bank "as and when they are short on nostro balances".
A nostro account refers to an account that a bank holds in a foreign currency in another bank.
The diminishing nostro account balances held by Zimbabwean banks has created settlement problems for international payments, resulting in important delays for telegraphic transfers.
These transfers are supposed to be processed within 48 hours but are now often taking more than a month to process.
The situation is especially affecting importers, such as retailers, which are facing delays in processing payments to cross border suppliers, thus affecting their ability to restock.