Business News of 2014-02-02

German company offers finance for local importers

The Delegation of Germany Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK) is partnering Lenz Finance Management, a German-based financial institution, to offer financial assistance to Ghanaian importers of products from Germany.
The Chief Executive Officer of Lenz Finance Management, Wolfgang Lenz, met a group of selected Ghanaian companies involved in international trade at the AHK office in Accra last week and explained that Lenz provides finance outside the domestic sector at lower cost and longer periods of credit.
He said Lenz Finance offers assistance in finding supply sources in Germany and in obtaining supplier’s credit.
To qualify for the facility, a business should have been operating for at least three years, have a yearly turnover of €2million or more for at least two years, and a single transaction value equivalent to 100,000 euro if the imports are consumer goods.
For capital goods, the transaction value should not be below €500,000. Wolfgang added that the product being offered is suitable for Ghanaian importers of goods supplied from Germany.
The process for accessing finance is that the customer introduces itself by producing a company profile and information about the intended business. The customer must provide financial statements with company certificates, which will be analysed by Lenz before a preliminary credit assessment is made.
The pricing of the product involves a flat fee of €1,000 for the analysis and credit eligibility report. Additionally, there is a consultancy fee of 3% for sourcing and arranging finance should the customer decide to use the services of Lenz. The 3% is counted on the turnover under the credit facility.
Explaining to B&FT why Lenz is entering the Ghanaian market, Wolfgang noted that Africa is now the focus of the world and the country’s stable and peaceful economy makes it a front-runner in sub-Saharan Africa.
Additionally, the provision of money is not readily available in the country -- and this is demonstrated by the high interest rates offered by commercial banks. Lenz is therefore aiming to provide finance outside the traditional banking system at lower costs and longer finance terms.