EBRD, EU and GCF expand access to finance for Egyptian private sector

By Nibal Zgheib

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  • EBRD, EU and GCF provide financing package to Ahli United Bank in Egypt
  • Combination of US$ 52 million loan and US$ 30 million trade facility
  • Loans to benefit underserved small businesses and support greening of supply chain

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Union (EU) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) are boosting green finance and the development of value chains for the Egyptian private sector with a financing package of US$ 82 million to Ahli United Bank in Egypt (AUBE).

The package consists of a US$ 30 million credit line for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), a US$ 10 million value chain loan under the EU-funded Trade and Competitiveness Programme, and a US$12 million green value chain loan supported by the GCF and the EU, as well as a US$ 30 million trade facility under the EBRD Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP).

The SME credit line will help increase access to finance for small businesses that remain underserved despite their crucial role in the Egyptian economy. The loan will also allow AUBE to extend its support to SMEs located in remote regions outside Greater Cairo and Alexandria.

The value chain and green value chain loans will support SMEs in agribusiness, manufacturing and services, logistics, and information and communication technologies in efforts to enhance their competitiveness. The programme will allow small businesses to invest in advanced technologies and in climate mitigation and adaptation solutions that enhance the development of green value chains. The programme also supports equal opportunities for men and women.

The trade facility will be used to issue guarantees in favour of confirming banks to support trade finance instruments issued by AUBE and provide cash advances to fund trade-related loans for pre-export and post-import financing and local distribution of imported goods.

Heike Harmgart, Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region, said: “I am very proud to sign this financial package, which will benefit an underserved segment of the economy. Together with the EU, the GCF and AUBE, we are contributing to greener, more inclusive and sustainable economic growth as well as helping to create more jobs for people in Egypt.”

We are pleased to collaborate with EBRD and GCF to support some important segments and businesses in the domestic market, in alignment with the Bank's strategy and the country’s economic development plan. The multi-purpose financing package will be directed to further strengthen our SMEs value proposition. AUB continues to expand its clientele base while assuming a responsible role in boosting the green economy, said Hala Sadek, CEO and Board Member, Ahli United Bank Egypt.

AUBE is 95.7 percent owned by Ahli United Bank, the largest bank in Bahrain.

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD. Since the start of its operations in Egypt in 2012, the EBRD has invested more than €8 billion in 138 projects in the country. The EBRD’s areas of investment include the financial sector, agribusiness, and manufacturing and services, as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater services, and contributions to the upgrade of transport services‎.

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