€20 million EBRD loan to Société Générale Maroc to support small businesses in Morocco

By Nibal Zgheib

The EBRD has today signed its first credit line in Morocco with Société Générale Maroc (SGMA), providing a €20 million loan for on-lending to the country’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

Providing better access to finance for MSMEs is a key plank of the EBRD’s strategy in Morocco. Speaking in the Moroccan capital of Rabat earlier in December, EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said, “This whole sector is very important to help with job creation right across the country.”

The project will also provide a transfer of skills to MSME clients through workshops aimed at improving their understanding of bank services and the quality of their loan applications thanks to funding from donors.

A €5 million trade finance facility was also signed today with SGMA to support the international trade business of its clients.

Francis Malige, EBRD Director Financial Institutions for Morocco, said: “The EBRD is delighted that its first loan in the Kingdom of Morocco is made in support of MSMEs, which are crucial for the sustainable development of the Moroccan real economy. This project with Société Générale Maroc will bring more financing to this sector, at a time when its access to finance remains limited.”

For Société Générale Maroc this partnership with the EBRD is part of its strategy of support to MSMEs. The €20 million funding will increase its financing capability and improve its proximity to clients through the transfer of know-how.

Khalid Chami, Chairman of Société Générale Maroc, said : “This is the result of the combination of two strategic objectives: that of the EBRD, which wants to support the economy in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, and that of Société Générale playing its role as a universal bank in Morocco and in particular to the benefit of small enterprises.“

By 2015, the EBRD expects to be investing up to €2.5 billion a year across Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia.

It extended its reach to these four economies in response to calls for support from the international community and from the countries themselves following political changes in the region. The EBRD was originally set up in 1991 to foster the development of market economies primarily in central and eastern Europe.