Central Bank Orders Banks to Provide Heineken with 40m Euros

Authorities at the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) have ordered commercial banks to provide letters of credit (LC) facility to Heineken Breweries worth 40 million euros, for its expansion project.

The order includes the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), and other banks where the company does not have client relationship, people who saw the order disclosed to Fortune.

The instruction was initially issued by the Prime Minister’s Office with a letter signed by Arkebe Oqubay (PhD), special advisor to the Prime Minister with a ministerial rank.

Banks are told to show, in writing, their commitments by February 1, 2018, sources in the industry disclosed to Fortune.

The order came amidst the nation’s dwindling foreign exchange reserve, which was standing at 3.2 billion dollars in 2016/17, able to cover 1.8-month’s import bills, according to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF).

UPDATE: It has come to Fortune`s attention from Arkebe Oqubay (PhD) that there was no letter of instruction issued to the central bank in allocating forex to Heineken.

“Please be advised that a letter was neither written nor instruction is given as reported by Addis Fortune in relation to forex allocation related to Heineken,” Arkebe told Fortune late on Monday. “This is the mandate of NBE and the respective banks.”

Published on Jan 30,2018 [ Vol 18 ,No 926]



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