EBRD boosts finance to small enterprises in Jordan

By Nibal Zgheib

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a US$ 10 million credit line to Jordan Ahli Bank for on-lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

Access to finance remains limited for Jordanian MSMEs, despite the fact they are one of the pillar sectors of the economy and contribute significantly to economic growth and employment.

The EBRD’s funding will increase available finance to Jordanian small enterprises, which are currently under-served by the local banking sector.

The EBRD will also extend US$ 1million for technical assistance to reinforce Jordan Ahli Bank’s efforts to enhance SME lending, specifically for women, and facilitate the transfer of international best practice, knowledge and skills.

Heike Harmgart, EBRD Head of Office in Jordan, said: “We are very pleased to partner with Jordan Ahli Bank, which is committed to developing small businesses in Jordan. This sector is a priority for the EBRD as it is the backbone of the economy and generates employment opportunities for all segments of the population.”

Mohamad Mousa Daoud , Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Jordan Ahli Bank,  said: “It is our privilege to further strengthen our strategic partnership with the EBRD, which in turn will enhance our dedication and commitment to MSMEs in Jordan through extending financial and non-financial support to this vital sector, fulfilling our promise to develop our economy,”

Dr. Ahmad Al-Hussien Deputy CEO at JAB, said: “Financial inclusion was a key pillar in achieving Jordan Ahli Bank’s vision, and through its partnership with the EBRD, Jordan Ahli Bank would be able to broaden its social responsibility towards the local community.”

The EBRD investment is in line with the Bank’s new transition concept, introduced at the beginning of 2017. The Bank argues that a well-functioning market economy should be competitive, well-governed, green, inclusive, resilient and integrated.

Jordan became an EBRD country of operations in 2012. To date, the EBRD has committed close to US$ 1 billion through 35 projects in various sectors of the economy.

As of 2016, Jordan Ahli Bank ranked the third largest commercial bank in Jordan with total assets of US$ 4 billion and a market share of 5.3 per cent.

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