The 300 million rand investment by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) a member of the World Bank Group, will also go towards supports student lending activities in Namibia. Trustco is a financial services company in Namibia that provides micro financial services in micro insurance and education.
“The IFC decided to advance 300 million rand to Trustco, 200 million rand in debt, 100 million rand in equity, which will take their stake up to about 9.5 per cent in total. 200 million was a note programme that we listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange of a billion rand, of which a first 200 million rand the IFC decided to take up,” Trustco Group Holdings managing director Quinton Van Rooyen told CNBC Africa on Wednesday.
Half of the IFC investment will go towards supporting more than 45,000 Namibia students, with Trustco having already advanced roughly 450 million rand to students in the country. The other half of the investment will be deployed to Trustco’s micro-insurance business model in South Africa.
Trusco listed on the Namibia Stock exchange in 2006 and three years later listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
“Our largest retail investment base sits in Namibia. More than 3000 Namibians own Trustco shares and South Africa, being the largest economy in Africa, we just thought at this stage it is the place to raise capital, it is the place to be visible, the place to make your mark and if you want to compete and show that you can compete, South Africa is the place to be,” Van Rooyen explained.
Kenya’s, Zambia’s and Angola’s markets are also on Trustco’s radar as possible entry points into the emerging market industry for their micro insurance business model.
Micro lending in Namibia has grown rapidly and exceeded the billion dollar mark in the last financial year. There is however the issue of the various regulatory frameworks and the different requirements associated with micro lending in the different African countries. .
“It would’ve been much easier if we had one regulatory environment in Southern Africa, for instance, but there isn’t at the moment. Our first port of call would always be the local regulator in the country, make sure that we understand the laws and what the objectives of those regulators are in the countries that we intend to enter,” said Van Rooyen.
“But regulators need to be there, it brings confidence into a market but if all the rules were the same, it would’ve been much easier.”