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EBRD and NBE boost private businesses in Egypt

By Nibal Zgheib

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  • EBRD US$ 100 million loan to support SMEs and private businesses in Egypt
  • Additional US$ 100 million increase in the current trade finance limit
  • Part of EBRD response to impact of coronavirus pandemic

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the Egyptian Economy with a US$ 200 million financing package to National Bank of Egypt (NBE) for trade and for on-lending to local companies impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Under this facility, the EBRD will provide a US$ 100 million loan to help NBE provide short-term loans to private small and medium-sized enterprises and firms facing liquidity strains due to a decrease in their activities and turnover caused by the crisis.

In addition, the Bank is increasing an existing uncommitted trade finance limit for NBE by US$ 100 million under the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme to reach US$ 300 million, to help meet the increased demand for import and export transactions.

Jurgen Rigterink, EBRD First Vice President, said: “We are very happy to partner again with NBE to provide financing to local small businesses, the backbone of the economy. Strengthening this segment of the Egyptian economy has never been more important than during this crisis.”

Hisham Okasha, NBE Chairman, said: “NBE is committed to minimising the economic and financial impact of Covid-19 on the Egyptian economy and our customers in particular. This new facility, under the EBRD’s Solidarity Package, targets a crucial segment of the economy, which we will continue to support, thus ensuring its resilience. This facility comes on the heels of an increase of US$ 100 million in our trade finance programme with the EBRD as well as the signing of a package in the amount of US$ 150 million to support young people in business, skills in business and green climate financing.”   

In response to the coronavirus pandemic the EBRD now expects to dedicate the entirety of its activities in 2020-21 to combating the economic impact of the crisis and stands ready to provide support worth up to €21 billion over this period in the 38 emerging economies where it invests.

NBE is the largest commercial bank in Egypt. Since the cooperation with the EBRD began in 2013, credit and trade finance lines have been signed, including in support of women in business and to strengthen energy efficiency.

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD. Since the start of its operations there in 2012, the Bank has invested close to €6.5 billion in 115 projects in the country.

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