MUFG Bank and the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), Africa's only multilateral trade and political risk insurer, have signed an agreement that will allow for increased cooperation and information sharing in order to support ATI's member countries as well as MUFG's clients in Africa.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the Annual General Meeting of ATI, held in Cotonou, Benin.

MUFG has been working with ATI over the last 12 months to leverage ATI's status as a supranational organisation and enhance their standing within the London insurance market to better structure transactions for the benefit of the region.

With ATI's support, MUFG has recently delivered two successful transactions: an innovative structured finance for the Republic of Benin, the country's very first commercial financing involving international investors, and Côte d'Ivoire's issuance of the first ever Social Loan by an African sovereign government. This privately placed Social Loan financing evidences Côte d'Ivoire's robust efforts to set world-class standards for governance, transparency and sustainability in the achievement of its economic and social development objectives.

Both transactions introduced a new class of investors to their respective governments, delivering long tenor financing at extremely competitive costs of financing.

Christopher Marks, Head of Emerging Markets at MUFG in EMEA, said:

"It is fantastic that we are now able to utilise ATI to support our clients and business in Africa, particularly when handling trade flow and investment.

"This MoU has cemented the existing working relationship between the two entities, ensuring a strong, positive and respectful partnership remains between ATI and MUFG."

John Lentaigne, Acting Chief Executive of ATI, said:

"It is a great honour for ATI to formalise our strategic partnership with Japan's largest bank as both institutions look to support each other in developing innovative financing solutions for Africa's governments and corporates. The last 12 months have seen ATI and MUFG partner to deliver on a number of major transactions and we have no doubt that even greater opportunities lie ahead."