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CDB, PTA Bank sign US$50m credit agreement
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China Development Bank, a development-oriented major financial institution in China, on Thursday signed an agreement with the PTA Bank on providing the latter a 50 million U.S. dollar line of credit.

"The funding will go towards supporting projects in the telecommunication, mining, infrastructure and other key sectors of the PTA Bank's member states," said a statement from the PTA Bank.

Speaking during the function, Michael Gondwe, president of the PTA Bank, also known as the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank, said the line of credit was among the largest which the PTA Bank has received from a single institution.

"This funding will support the bank's regional business support strategy, especially in sectors that require a large amount of funding such as mining, telecommunications and infrastructure," said Gondwe.

He said because of the rapid growth of the telecommunications sector in Africa, the PTA Bank was keen on placing a special emphasis on projects in the sector.

"The developmental impact of improving telecommunication networks cannot be underestimated and, because we are a development bank, it is our intention to continue being very active in this sector," said Gondwe.

So far, the PTA Bank has supported telecommunications projects in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

"To date, we have committed close to 90 million USD to the telecommunications sector in the sub region, " said Gondwe.

The PTA Bank is owned by 19 shareholders, 17 of whom are African states, mostly in the eastern and southern Africa region.

The shareholders are Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. China is a non-regional shareholder while the African Development Bank is an institutional shareholder.

(Xinhua News Agency August 15, 2008)

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