EBRD and Tunisia’s ATL Leasing support local small business lending

By Nibal Zgheib

Leading leasing company to receive €13 million loan

  • EBRD lends €13 million to Arab Tunisian Lease to support SME lending
  • Loan will help bridge long-term financing gap in the sector
  • Local currency financing will support lending to local SMEs

Small businesses in Tunisia will benefit from more readily accessible finance under a new €13 million loan in local currency that the EBRD is providing to Arab Tunisian Lease (ATL Leasing) to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

In a country where access to funding and liquidity remain constraints on the growth of many private businesses, the EBRD loan will allow ATL Leasing to provide long-term funding to small companies. ATL Leasing will extend leases for the acquisition of equipment, light commercial vehicles, trucks, trailers and real estate.

Small and medium-sized enterprises play an integral role in the Tunisian economy. There are over 80,000 SMEs in the country, which are responsible for 40 per cent of the GDP and employ more than half of the population. The success of the country’s growing economy largely relies on the success of its small businesses.

ATL Leasing is a leading provider of leasing services to SMEs in the country, which makes up its core business. With 12 branches across all major cities of the country, the company has shown a consistently strong financial performance over the past few years.

The loan will help limit foreign exchange risks for small business borrowers with earnings in local currency. Supporting access to finance for SMEs through local currency has been identified as one of the strategic priorities by the government of Tunisia and the EBRD.

Since the start of its operations in Tunisia in 2012, the EBRD has invested over €831 million across 37 projects in the country. The Bank’s investments aim to support the restructuring and strengthening of the financial sector and the financing of private enterprises, supporting energy efficiency and developing a sustainable energy sector, as well as facilitating non-sovereign financing for infrastructure development.