SITUATION REPORT

Ethiopia: National Bank Grants First Financial Services License to Foreign Company

1 MIN READAug 9, 2019 | 17:33 GMT

The National Bank of Ethiopia has granted its first financial services license to a foreign company, Bloomberg reported Aug. 8....

What Happened: The National Bank of Ethiopia has granted its first financial services license to a foreign company, Bloomberg reported Aug. 8. The grant went to Ethio Lease, a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S. equipment leasing firm Africa Asset Finance Co., and will help deliver much-needed equipment to the country.

Why It Matters: The decision marks another significant step toward market liberalization for Ethiopia, as it will increase the ability of foreign businesses to operate within the country amid a shortage of foreign exchange reserves.

Background: The Ethiopian government's focus on massive infrastructure projects has dramatically exacerbated the country's foreign exchange shortages, making it increasingly difficult for locals to get access to much-needed imports, such as medicine.

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