The companies include all those associated with helping tackle Covid-19, including manufacturers and distributors in the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare providers, as well as non-medical companies that have volunteered to add this capability to their manufacturing output - goods in scope include ventilators, face masks, protective equipment, sanitisers and other consumables.
“Clearly there’s a cost for companies to switch into these hugely in-demand items, so it’s an area where we can potentially help them get these processes up and running more quickly; and at the same time, we want to make sure that existing manufacturers and service providers get the support they need,” said Standard Chartered CEO of Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking Simon Cooper on Monday.
The bank intends to provide at least $1 billion of financing to those companies in the form of loans, import/export finance or the working capital facilities that they use for day-to-day business operations to help them tool up and help existing manufacturers get their products to the market.
Standard Chartered is also trying to identify companies that may wish to switch into or add anti-virus products to their output, but haven’t indicated that they will do so at this stage.
“Our industry teams are looking across our client base and, given our understanding of clients’ current manufacturing processes, we’re assessing which companies might want to consider adding these items to their production line,” Simon added in a statement issued in Nairobi.
All financing will be subject to companies having received regulatory approvals to manufacture the goods.