The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has closed a US$150mn club facility with four Korean banks.

The lenders were Shinhan Bank, who acted as co-ordinator, KEB Hana Bank, Woori Bank and NongHyup Bank.

Denys Denya, Afreximbank’s executive vice-president in charge of finance, administration and banking services, says it is a “debut facility in the particular market”.

While banks in Korea have participated in Afreximbank’s previous fundraising activities, this is “the first time a facility specifically focused on Korea had been arranged for the bank”, he explains.

The three-year facility, which was oversubscribed, will provide Afreximbank with “requisite funding capabilities at competitive pricing”, Denya says.

The funding will go towards achieving Afreximbank’s core mandate, including expanding intra-African trade and supporting export manufacturing.

“The facility also helps Afreximbank to diversify its sources of funding by geography, instrument and investor base,” Denya adds.

The news coincides with the announcement that Shinhan Bank has joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)’s trade facilitation programme (TFP), a framework to promote trade with countries across the three continents where the EBRD invests, including Africa.

This will allow the bank to guarantee the payment of letters of credit and other trade finance instruments which have been issued by TFP partner banks in EBRD countries of operations to exporters of Korean products.