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Rawbank presents financing solutions at Indaba

An image depicting Etienne Mabunda and Arnaud Coupe at this year's Mining Indaba

ETIENNE MABUNDA AND ARNAUD COUPE The Mining Indaba enabled Rawbank to highlight the financing solutions that it provides

24th March 2023

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer

     

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Democratic Republic of Congo- (DRC-) based financial institution Rawbank liaised with authorities from the DRC while presenting its financing solutions for mining companies in the country’s value chain at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba – held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre last month.

As an attendee, Rawbank sought to gain insights on mining activities in neighbouring countries while reinforcing its position in the DRC’s financial sector.

“We highlighted our commitment to supporting companies in the DRC value chain. We are confident that we have achieved our aims,” enthuses Rawbank commercial director Etienne Mabunda and Katanga regional director Arnaud Coupe.

The DRC’s mining industry recorded significant increases in its production volumes of cobalt, diamonds and copper last year owing to favourable conditions in international mineral markets, thereby leading to an increase in investment in the sector.

Hence, more mining companies are interested in provinces, such as Tshuapa and Kwilu, which have yet to be explored.

Moreover, an increase in production – coupled with rising commodity prices – is expected to further attract local and foreign investors that will, consequently, require financing solutions.

This is evidenced by Rawbank’s granting $828-million in credit to participants in the DRC mining value chain last year.

Mabunda and Coupe describe this as a testament to the bank’s financial capabilities, driven by the large deposit volumes of its clients, funding from multilateral banks and Rawbank’s having reached capital levels above those required by the country’s central bank.

Service Offerings

Rawbank launched its first international-standard trading room for the DRC money market last year so that it could offer alternative financing solutions to the country’s mining sector.

The trading room offers two complementary short-term and medium-term financing products – commercial paper and medium-term bank notes.

“We work with 95% of the companies operating in the DRC mining value chain and we are convinced that this new financing mechanism will be extremely useful for them,” comment Mabunda and Coupe.

They suggest that financial institutions in the DRC should introduce similar mechanisms to help finance mining companies and activities in the country.

They stress that being flexible and having the support and confidence of international partners is necessary for banks to support economic agents and expand credit capacity.

As such, Rawbank’s trading room offers hedging products to ensure that companies are protected against losses related to exchange rate and commodity price fluctuations to increase investor confidence.

Further, with the mining industry being capital intensive, African countries need to establish significant resources to exploit their mining resources and enable economic growth.

Hence, Rawbank offers three main financing options for players in the industry: equity, debt and hybrid liquidity services.

These options are made available depending on the mining project’s development stage, the associated level of uncertainty and the priority of principle repayments.

“Rawbank is the only financial institution that can offer credit and issue debt in the local money market through our international-standard trading room. In 2023, Rawbank will increase its single obligation limit, which reflects its capacity – according to business and commercial client rules – to concretely accompany the sector’s largest players,” Mabunda and Coupe explain.

Additional Services

Rawbank offers its online banking platform to give its clients unlimited access to their bank accounts.

The company offers sales, inventory and operations planning that enable clients to manage and automate transactions directly from enterprise resource planning without needing intervention from the bank.

Mabunda and Coupe say this solution is especially suitable for larger companies wanting to connect their in-house systems to those of Rawbank to initiate payment orders and other financial transactions.

Consequently, companies no longer need to manually enter or report their invoices into payment software, which, in turn, allows for automation of the payment chain.

Rawbank also offers its Optimus platform to facilitate the monitoring of foreign exchange declarations related to the import and export of goods and services, as well as those related to capital transfers.

The company aims to help build the capacity of DRC-owned entities that engage in mining-related activities to enable growth opportunities for the country’s economy and citizens.

Therefore, Rawbank supports small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) that are subcontractors in the mining value chain by offering its facturis loan.

This loan enables SMMEs to make an advance on purchase orders to anticipate their cash flow needs and strengthen their financial capacity in the context of contracts signed with their suppliers.

Further, Mabunda and Coupe comment that aiding the DRC’s socioeconomic development has been Rawbank’s priority since its establishment in 2002.

Given that the mining industry accounts for about 20% of the country’s gross domestic product and constitutes about one-third of government revenues, they say the mining sector is important for the DRC’s economy.

However, they note that the DRC’s mining industry is not yet sufficiently integrated into the country’s economic circuits.

“By developing offers dedicated to all the companies in the value chain, Rawbank facilitates operational synergies among its client companies. This is essential to create value for these companies and, consequently, for the DRC’s economy. The bank's goal is to be the best in terms of customer service,” conclude Mabunda and Coupe.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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