Dubai – BMCE Bank of Africa is targeting $200 million (Dh734 million) in trade finance and investment transactions through its new Dubai office in the first year of operations and aims to double each year over the next three years, said a senior official.
“We are focusing on trade finance from Dubai office. We have a project finance office in London and it can propose deals to banks and funds here in Dubai. We are targeting trade finance first and then some project finance in Africa around renewable energy, infrastructure and hospitals. We are on several projects that serve a lot of population across Africa,” said Mohammed Al Goumi, delegate general manager and in charge of international activities at BMCE Bank.
Headquartered in Casablanca, the bank has been granted Category-4 licence by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Dubai branch will operate under the umbrella of BBI Plc UK, which is the Group’s investment arm for dealing with Africa. BBI Plc UK has also presence in Paris, Zurich and recently in Dubai, to expand its capacity to cover Africa.
“We see Africa is becoming important for Gulf investors. Our target in first year is $200 million transactions out of DIFC office and we expect to double each year during the next three years. Business is huge except the problem of coronavirus. We will have some delays in delivering the goods to Africa and imports from Africa also. But we’ll be cool on conditions given to clients,” he said during a recent interview.
Al Goumi ruled out any cut in the supply chains of trade between China and Africa due to the outbreak of Covid-19, but he expected some kind of delay in the delivery of goods and imports to Africa.
“We will be very complacent with our customers in terms of facilities and payments because we know about the challenges and hardships they face at present. This will be part of our response to support our partners in times of crisis,” he added.
Al Goumi proposed postponing payments by about four weeks, as they were able to secure the necessary liquidity for the continuation of their operations. It is expected that the channels of trade between China and the rest of the world will return to normal noon.
April 5, 2020