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ANI gets $100-M loan for expansion

By: - Reporter / @kocampoINQ
/ 04:05 AM February 26, 2020

Listed agricultural trader AgriNurture Inc. (ANI) has bagged a major investment deal with global investment banking firm Vnesto Capital after the latter committed to finance the company’s ambitious expansion program with a $100-million loan.

ANI informed the Philippine Stock Exchange that the loan would carry an interest equivalent to the current treasury bill rate plus 3 percentage points.

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ANI president and CEO Antonio Tiu told the Inquirer that the expansion program would focus on two major aspects— the launching of the company’s banking platform and the establishment of several infrastructure that would broaden ANI’s operations.

This will include the construction of cold-storage units, post-harvest facilities and a possible food terminal in Rizal.

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“We’re ready to launch our platform within the next 30 days. We are already set. We’re just waiting for confirmation of a tie-up with an international banking institution that would provide us bonding and contribution because eventually, we have to get more depositors,” he said.

Through the development of ANI’s e-wallet, the company aims to broaden the reach of its microfinance services to Filipino farmers in remote areas.

The company will be organizing cooperatives per crop per region to mitigate the risks of lending to farmers. It is also looking at insurance.

The official noted that they planned to lend to farmers at a subsidized rate to minimize their dependence on loan sharks, whose interest rates easily breach 20 percent.

ANI has also disclosed that it submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Department of Agriculture to launch a P500-million rice-corn blend program in the market as an alternative staple that could be distributed by the National Food Authority to support the local industry. INQ

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