Tunis-Headquartered, pan-African financial services group Alios Finance is set to enter the Zimbabwean market during the first quarter of next year, a company official has said. Alios Finance Zambia acting chief executive officer, Evert TerBurg, said the move is part of his company’s ambitious strategy of expanding its operations in English speaking African countries.
“We are embarking on an ambitious strategy of expanding into new markets especially the English speaking African countries,” TerBurg told The Financial Gazette’s Companies & Market).
“In this regard, we are planning to set up branches in Zimbabwe by the first quarter of next year (2014). We have already spoken to the relevant authorities in the country about this plan.”
Alios Finance offers a broad range of finance solutions targeting Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). SMEs play a critical role in the development of the Zimbabwean economy.
According to a FinScope 2012 survey report which was launched in June this year, SMEs now contribute between 60 to 70 percent of Gross Domestic Product.
The report was the first small to medium enterprise survey done at national level in the country.
It was spearheaded by the Ministry of SMEs and was aimed at assessing the size and scope of SMEs in Zimbabwe.
SMEs are increasingly filling the gap left by big companies which closed down as a result of nearly a decade of economic decline and hyperinflation that ended in 2009 following the introduction of a multi-currency regime.
The survey shows that there are about 5,7 million people working in the SME sector, uplifting livelihoods of approximately 70 percent of the population.
In its findings, it revealed that most SMEs in Zimbabwe fail to access sustainable financial services due to lack of suitable and acceptable collateral.
The few that access funding, about 18 percent, however face higher transaction fees.
The Tunis-headquartered company has been in existence in sub-Saharan Africa since 1956 and also offers corporates and individuals with products such as operational and financial leasing, investment loans, long-term rental and consumer credit.
Alios Finance’s current operations are in Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Gabon, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania.
The office in Kenya, opened in 2010, serves as the second operational headquarters, meant to further drive the expansion of Alios Finance in English speaking African countries.
Dutch development finance company, FMO, Pan-African Investment Fund Africinvest, Finfund, a Finland development fund and Tunisie Leasing Company, the largest leasing company in Tunisia, are the major international investors in Alois Finance Group.
Other shareholders are CFAO, OPTORG, who specialise in sale, distribution and servicing of vehicles and other assets throughout Africa.
Powered by WPeMatico