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EBRD further supports small enterprises in Egypt

By Nibal Zgheib

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is further supporting the development of small businesses in Egypt with a US$ 30 million credit line to the National Bank of Egypt (NBE).

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the economy and financing them is a priority for the EBRD.

The US$ 30 million loan to NBE is an extension of the first US$ 50 million loan signed in December 2013 for on-lending to private enterprises. Following the successful implementation of the first loan, this additional credit line will expand the amount of financing available to SMEs in Egypt, thereby contributing to the development of the private sector.

Phil Bennett, the EBRD’s First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are very proud to sign this new loan with NBE to further support small private businesses in Egypt. Strengthening the private sector is one of the main pillars for the country’s economic growth and for the creation of job opportunities.”

Hisham Okasha, Chairman of NBE, said: ''NBE’s receipt of a second loan amounting to US$ 30 million from the EBRD in support of SMEs points to the strong relationship NBE enjoys with the EBRD and emphasises the key role that NBE continues to play in supporting the SME sector in Egypt. ''

Providing financing to small and medium projects remains NBE's priority to help promote economic growth, offer much-needed job opportunities and boost production in Egypt.   

The National Bank of Egypt was founded in 1898, and is the oldest and largest commercial bank in the country. NBE is a market leader in terms of total assets, with a 24.6 per cent market share. The bank has the largest branch network in Egypt, with 325 branches and outlets distributed throughout the country, and 1714 automatic teller machines (ATMs).

To date, the EBRD has committed over €600 million to finance 16 projects in Egypt (including regional projects) across a wide range of sectors. The Bank has also facilitated direct technical assistance through its Small Business Support programme, which to date has benefited approximately 175 Egyptian SMEs. In the southern and eastern Mediterranean, the EBRD has invested approximately €1.2 billion across 45 projects since the start of its operations in the region in 2012.

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