Standard Chartered Bank recently disclosed that it had committed the sum of $1 billion towards financing companies whose production activities are crucial at this time, as the world faces the Coronavirus pandemic.
Eligibility for the credit facility: According to a statement that was issued on the company’s website, companies engaged in the production of essential goods and services are eligible to benefit from the credit facility. In specific terms, the statement named producers and distributors of pharmaceuticals and healthcare products as the main targets.
Also, companies that are planning to start manufacturing products that are needed in the fight against the pandemic also qualify to benefit from the $1 billion credit facility.
Some of the products in high demand at the moment include:
- Face masks
- Various sanitisers
- Protective equipment for medical doctors and other health workers
- Various consumable products
More details: The $1 billion credit facility will be disbursed to qualified companies in the form of loans. The loans can then be used by the companies for export/import financing, or as working capital for their daily activities. Note that Standard Chartered plans to issue in loans at “preferential rates”.
The bank said it is still looking to identify companies that are willing to take up the responsibility of incorporating the production of unrelated but vital products such as anti-virus products. Only companies that have obtained the necessary regulatory approvals to produce these “unrelated products” can be considered for the loan.
Standard Chartered’s CEO of Corporate, Commercial, and Institutional Banking, Simon Cooper was quoted as saying this:
“Clearly there’s a cost for companies to switch into these hugely in-demand items, so it’s an area where we can help them get up and running more quickly. At the same time, we want to make sure that existing manufacturers and service providers get the support they need.
“Our industry teams are looking across our client base and, given our understanding of clients’ current manufacturing processes, we’re assessing which companies might want to consider adding these items to their production line.”
Standard Chartered did not specify whether this credit facility is open to companies around the world. It should, however, be noted that the bank has operations around the world, including Nigeria. Moreover, the statement emphasised that Standard Chartered is dedicated to “serving all of its clients during what is a challenging period for all companies”.