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EBRD and Bank al Etihad support growth of small and women-led businesses in Jordan

By Nibal Zgheib

اقرأ باللغة العربية

  • First project in the SEMED region to incorporate the EBRD’s Paris alignment methodology in the financial sector
  • Second EBRD, Basel-III-compliant subordinated loan in Jordan to Bank al Etihad
  • Funds to support businesses, individuals and women-led MSMEs promoting inclusive and sustainable growth

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing Bank al Etihad (BAE) with a US$ 35 million Basel III compliant subordinated loan to strengthen its lending capacity for businesses, individuals as well as women-led micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Jordan.

The financing package consists of up to US $25 million to BAE for on-lending to businesses and individuals in Jordan, and up to US $10 million for on-lending to women-led MSMEs under the EBRD Women in Business programme in Jordan. The programme will help BAE to adapt its products to better suit women-led MSMEs, strengthen their lending practices and improve marketing and product development.

In Jordan, MSMEs account for 98 per cent of all businesses, contributing significantly to economic growth and job creation. Women-led businesses account for 25 per cent of the SME sector in Jordan, yet they are underfinanced.

This new financing to BAE is the first project in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region to incorporate the EBRD’s Paris alignment methodology in the financial sector.  A technical assistance package provided under the EBRD’s Corporate Climate Governance Facility will assist BAE in developing a pilot institutional transition plan to align its business practices and financial flows with the goals of the Paris Agreement, integrating climate risk considerations, identifying business opportunities and supporting its clients with low carbon products and services.

Bank al Etihad was incorporated in 1978 and has since grown to become one of the leading banking groups in Jordan. It ranks third in Jordan in terms of customer deposits and facilities, and fourth in terms of total assets.

Since 2012 the EBRD has provided more than €1.9 billion through 68 projects in Jordan, of which 70 per cent are in the private sector, including financial support to the Jordanian banking sector through MSME loans, subordinated debt and trade finance facilities.

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