EBRD develops financial markets in Tunisia

By Nibal Zgheib


  • The EBRD and the Tunisian Ministry of Finance present a roadmap outlining the areas to be reformed
  • New legal framework is expected in the first quarter of 2021
  • The EBRD is the leading international financial institution (IFI) in providing loans in Tunisian dinar, enhancing access to affordable local currency for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Building a strong capital market means building a stronger economy. The EBRD is supporting the Tunisian authorities in creating a capital market that is able to provide local companies with better access to a variety of sources of funding to finance and expand their operations.

First findings of a review of the current legal and regulatory framework and a roadmap of the next steps towards comprehensive reforms were presented by the EBRD and the Tunisian Ministry of Finance in Tunis today. The adoption of a new legal framework is expected in the first quarter of 2021.

The roadmap outlines the areas to be reformed. They include reinforcing the mission and powers of the regulator, updating brokers’ and financial advisors’ licensed activities and bringing the environment for derivatives and repurchase agreements in line with international standards. On the legal side, a modernisation of the regime for public offerings, an upgrade of the securitisation regulations and the creation of covered bond legislation are intended to widen the diversity and attractiveness of the local capital market.

As a result, local companies will not only benefit from better access to funding, but also a safer environment to operate in.

Christelle Fink, the EBRD Associate Director for Local Currency and Capital Markets Development in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, said: “Developing local capital markets in Tunisia and extending the range of financial instruments is one of the Bank’s priorities in the country. The EBRD is the leading IFI in providing loans in Tunisian dinar, enhancing access to affordable local currency for SMEs and strengthening the resilience of the local economy.”

The EBRD is a leading international investor in Tunisia and combines financing with policy engagement. Private-sector development is one of the Bank’s priorities in the country. To date, the EBRD has invested €869 million since the start of its operations in Tunisia in 2012 and provided technical assistance to nearly 800 SMEs, two-thirds of which are in remote areas.