Standard Chartered and CDC to launch $150mn supply chain finance programme

By James Henderson
CDC Group and Standard Chartered Bank have agreed a $150mn supply chain finance programme that will increase financing for SME suppliers in Africa and S...

CDC Group and Standard Chartered Bank have agreed a $150mn supply chain finance programme that will increase financing for SME suppliers in Africa and South Asia.

The first countries to benefit from the scheme are expected to be Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana and Kenya.

In a release, CDC said that SMEs in the supply chains of developing countries must often wait long periods (typically 30-90 days) to receive payment for delivered products.

To finance this working capital gap and keep the business going while awaiting payment, suppliers often need to provide collateral to borrow short-term funds from their local bank. Many struggle to do so, meaning that their business growth and production levels are constrained.

The partnership between CDC and Standard Chartered will provide a financing ‘bridge’ that gives suppliers the opportunity to get paid early while enabling buyers in a supply chain to maximise their working capital.

This improves cash flow for both buyers and suppliers, while boosting transparency and cutting risk across the supply chain. This partnership is a unique example of how blended finance helps boost international trade as an engine for inclusive economic growth and is central to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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The agreement, which is a 50:50 risk-sharing facility, is expected to disburse at least $150mn to suppliers over three years.

Under the memorandum, the two institutions will bear the risks of local anchor buyers involved in supporting their supplier base. Buyers will typically be Standard Chartered clients, while the suppliers who will benefit most from early payment will be small companies in national and regional supply chains.

CDC’s Director of Trade and Supply Chain Finance, Admir Imami said: “Helping business and countries in Africa and South Asia to grow is central to CDC’s mission.

“The agreement with Standard Chartered that we’re announcing today will help growing SME suppliers to gain better access to working capital and contribute to economic growth and job creation in their home markets and on the international stage. By building on our long-standing relationship with Standard Chartered we can support many of the businesses that, without collateral, struggle to get the financing they need.”

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