Local company African Century Leasing has secured $4 million from a Geneva-based investment firm, Symbiotics Group to be used to fund productive sectors of the economy. ACL has so far disbursed $82 million in lease finance to various local small and medium enterprises and other sectors of the Zimbabwean economy since its inception in 2011.

In an interview with The Herald Business, ACL managing director Mr Stanley Matiza said the company has already secured the credit line with a signing ceremony expected to be announced soon. “We have secured some funding arrangement with a Geneva investment group worth about $4 million and the funds will be disbursed towards manufacturing, agriculture and tourism. The deal will soon be signed in the presence of Government.

“The process of retooling local industry is being hampered by lack of long term funding and as such ACL will continue to engage the DFI community for credit lines. The leasing company, in June this year, successfully secured a credit line of $5 million from the Netherlands Development Bank.

This was the second tranche of funding that ACL received after having accessed $8 million in 2013. Mr Matiza said the leasing industry requires more long-term funding to meet the needs of the local industry. The company has grown to be a lease finance company for vehicles and machinery with clients from both the private and public sectors.

Shareholders of African Century Limited are African Century Leasing Limited Mauritius and the Management Staff Share Scheme. African Century was given a licence by the central bank to be a deposit taking microfinance institution. Symbiotics Group was incorporated in 2004 in Geneva and is an investment company specialised in emerging, sustainable and inclusive finance which offers market research, investment advisory and asset management services.

It is an asset manager of collective investment schemes regulated by FINMA, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority and has an advisory licence from the Financial Conduct Authority, through its subsidiary in the United Kingdom. The company is head-quartered in Geneva, with offices in Cape Town, London, Zurich, Mexico City and Singapore with a staff of over eighty professionals.

Since 2004, Symbiotics has invested over $2,3 billion in more than 250 microfinance institutions in 50 emerging countries, working with more than 28 investment funds and many institutional investors.