EBRD supports Jordan’s smaller firms

By Nibal Zgheib


US$ 20 million MSME facility to Cairo Amman Bank
 
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is partnering with Cairo Amman Bank (CAB) to increase support for small businesses in Jordan by providing the equivalent of US$ 20 million in Jordanian dinars for on-lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
 
Access to finance for MSMEs remains a challenge in Jordan, and this is particularly true for women-led businesses, new firms, small-scale enterprises and MSMEs located outside Amman.
 
Cairo Amman bank is the first Jordanian bank to sign a credit line under the EBRD MSMEs Framework. This facility will enable CAB to expand its lending to private MSMEs in Jordan.
 
Dr. Heike Harmgart, Head of the EBRD Resident Office in Jordan, said: “Signing this credit line with CAB is an important milestone for the EBRD in providing finance to small businesses in Jordan. CAB is committed and well-positioned to assist MSMEs, an important sector for the EBRD to develop as it contributes to economic growth and job creation.”
 
Kamal Al Bakri, General Manager of Cairo Amman Bank, said: “We at Cairo Amman Bank are always keen to enhance and support the development of the MSME’s sector in Jordan; by doing so we aim to improve living standards, develop new opportunities and build entrepreneurship in Jordan. The partnership with the EBRD is a further step towards a sustainable economy.”
 
The EBRD will also provide technical assistance to CAB, which will support the expansion of the Bank’s MSME lending, enabling the transfer of international best practices, knowledge and skills.
 
Established in 1960, Cairo Amman Bank is the fifth-largest bank in Jordan, with total assets of US$ 3.1 billion at year-end 2013. While primarily a retail bank, CAB is one of the first Jordanian banks to set up a dedicated MSME department as well as a microfinance unit. CAB offers a full range of products and services to MSMEs and corporate clients, including brokerage and leasing products via its subsidiaries.
 
Jordan became a member of the Bank in 2012 and to date the EBRD has committed US$ 336 million across 15 projects in Jordan in various sectors. Through the EBRD’s Small Business Support programmes the Bank has also initiated 67 technical assistance capacity-building support programmes that directly benefit Jordanian small and medium-sized enterprises.