EBRD in innovative partnership with Bank Al Etihad in Jordan

By Nibal Zgheib

EBRD in innovative partnership with Bank Al Etihad in Jordan

In order to strengthen the competitiveness of Jordanian companies through improved access to finance, the EBRD and Bank al Etihad in Jordan are joining forces under a US$ 20 million risk-sharing agreement.

Under the agreement, the EBRD will share risk in individual eligible loans extended by Bank al Etihad to Jordanian businesses. The new instrument promotes greater access to finance to local enterprises and will allow Bank al Etihad to meet the financial needs of its clients more efficiently. Clients will also benefit from technical assistance under the EBRD’s Advice for Small Business programme.

Bank al Etihad is the fourth largest bank in Jordan in terms of total assets and is listed on the Amman Stock Exchange. The EBRD has previously supported the lender with a US$ 20 million local currency equivalent credit line for on-lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

The new agreement was signed on the sidelines of the EBRD’s Annual Meeting and Business Forum held at the Dead Sea by Nadia Al- Saeed, General Manager of Bank al Etihad and Heike Harmgart, the EBRD Director for the Eastern Mediterranean and Head of the office in Jordan. This event is the first EBRD Annual Meeting in the Bank’s newest region, the southern and eastern Mediterranean, in which Jordan is a leading business hub. Jordan joined the EBRD in 2011 and became a country of operations in 2012.

To date the Bank has invested close to €1 billion in the country’s economy. Almost 90 per cent of all investments are in the private sector.