CDC Group and Societe Generale combine forces to boost African trade



A US $100 million risk sharing facility.

CDC Group plc ("CDC"), the UK's publicly owned impact investor, has closed a US $100 million trade finance risk sharing facility with Societe Generale. The facility will support Societe Generale to increase the limits that it currently provides to local banks and extend limits to new banks in Africa, particularly focusing on Francophone West Africa.

This first partnership between CDC and Societe Generale is critical in addressing the lack of commercial capital, at a time when there is limited access to international capital for local companies and importers. This commitment will therefore strengthen Societe Generale's ability to provide critical funding to local importers of essential foodstuffs and resources – to help companies through the current economic crisis and to support job creation in Africa. In addition, several trades facilitated by CDC's capital will support food and agricultural value chains, which are key priorities in CDC's COVID-19 response.

This partnership promotes the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by supporting economic opportunities and growth, as well as contributing to an increase in jobs as importers increase their distribution networks. This will improve and increase efficiency throughout supply chains, enabling expanded access to commodities for households at more competitive prices (SDG 8). By supporting increased trade activity, this facility helps to promote sustainable industrialisation by contributing to a country's employment and GDP (SDG 9).

Pierre-Antoine Barreault, Global Head of Trade Finance at Societe Generale commented: "As a long-standing banking partner of the African continent, operating locally in 19 countries, Societe Generale through this partnership with CDC is reaffirming its commitment for Africa and asserting its drive to support economies, private customers and corporate clients. This new sustainable growth initiative is part of the Bank's "Grow with Africa*" program which aims to foster positive transformation across the continent".

Admir Imami, Director of Trade and Supply Chain Finance at CDC Group said: "Societe Generale is a leading international bank with a positive commitment to Africa. Our partnership is a significant step closer to narrowing the trade finance gap in the region. This commitment will stimulate trade and supply chain efficiency in Africa by supporting banks and smaller financial institutions in providing capital and increasing credit that businesses need for their continued growth. We know our capital will ultimately help business owners sustain company growth and create further jobs for those in their communities."

Africa's trade finance deficit is estimated by the International Chamber of Commerce at US $110 billion to $120 billion – representing about 25 per cent of the demand for trade finance in Africa. CDC and Societe Generale are playing a key role in bridging this gap by supporting local financial institutions to expand financing to businesses across Africa.

About CDC

1. CDC Group is the UK's first impact investor with over 70 years of experience of successfully supporting the sustainable, long-term growth of businesses in South Asia and Africa.
2. CDC is a leading player in the fight against climate change and a UK champion of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals – the global blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for us all.
3. The company has investments in over 1,200 businesses in emerging economies and a total portfolio value of £5.8bn. This year CDC will invest over $1.5bn in companies in Africa and Asia with a focus on fighting climate change, empowering women and creating new jobs and opportunities for millions of people.
4. CDC is funded by the UK government and all proceeds from its investments are reinvested to improve the lives of millions of people in Africa and South Asia.
5. CDC's expertise makes it the perfect partner for private investors looking to devote capital to making a measurable environmental and social impact in countries most in need of investment.