RMB Namibia commits to unlocking aviation potential

• By Confidente Reporter

As a major player in the country’s Corporate and Investment Banking space, RMB Namibia is committed to unlocking new opportunities in the Namibian aviation industry by providing innovative finance solutions.

These were the sentiments expressed by Jason Shikalepo, RMB Namibia Head of the Investment Banking Division during a panel discussion at the recently concluded Namibia Aviation and Connectivity Forum in Windhoek.

The forum which is a first of its kind for Namibia aims to create a platform where key industry players andstakeholders share, tackle, rethink and put into motion ideas on the trajectory that the aviation industry and its related ecosystems will take over the next few years.

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It further seeks to cement the industry’s role as key to Namibia’s economic recovery and growth, as well as drive the revival of the aviation and other ancillary industries such as tourism after the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We pride ourselves in developing a globally competitive Namibia, so it is not hard to see why infrastructure development is close to our business.

As a funding opportunity, we see it as a clever combination of development finance and sophisticated investment banking. We have been very busy in the aviation sector, and even after the Covid-19 pandemic, our outlook remains the same mainly because at the top of all our solutions, we apply traditional values and innovative ideas,” Shikaleko explained.

He added, “what this means is that every opportunity whether it be infrastructure or logistics, we have the discipline of looking broadly at these investment cases so that the due diligence that we do and the technical expertise that we apply aren’t simply to assess if they can repay us but to try to understand whether this is solving a meaningful problem out there. When we talk about lending to the sector, we look at what the risk parameters are, our solutions are then designed to follow these risk avenues.

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We are also very competent at drawing in other capital pools such as the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), which is always important to better deliver the best funding solutions to these investment cases,” Shikaleko said.

Furthermore, while responding to a question from the audience on the financing of aircrafts, Shikaleko emphasised that this was an emerging opportunity locally, but that it’s probably where the market is heading given the developments that are coming.