FirstRand Bank Loans USD 200 Million For Tanzania Commodities Trading

South Africa’s FirstRand Ltd. (FSR) has announced its plan to provide a USD 200 million loan from its investment-banking unit to the Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (MeTL) Group to be applied towards a working-capital facility to trade commodities in and around East Africa.

According to a statement by the Rand Merchant Bank that was released to Bloomberg Businessweek, the facility is one of the largest that provides services to the East Africa region.

“The facility is syndicated with both local and international financial institutions and is one of the largest loan facilities provided for the trading of commodities in East Africa,” reads the statement.

The MeTL Group currently employs more than 24,000 people in Tanzania with investments and interests across all key business sectors including trade, agriculture, manufacturing, energy and petroleum, financial services, telecommunications, infrastructure and real estate, transport and logistics, and distribution.

According to MeTL, the Group contributes 3.5% of the Tanzania GDP and is targeted to become a USD 5 billion Group by the end of 2015.