EBRD to provide €100 million EBRD loan to Banque Centrale Populaire

By Nibal Zgheib

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The EBRD is providing a loan of up to €100 million to Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) to boost lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Morocco. The facility to one of the leading banks in the country in support of the predominant sector of the national economy represents a milestone in the EBRD’s investments in Morocco, which started only two years ago.

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises account for over 93 per cent of active enterprises in Morocco and contribute to over 38 per cent of GDP and 46 per cent of total employment. However, lending to small businesses represent only 25 per cent of total domestic loans to the private sector.

The EBRD loan addresses this issue by providing additional funds for lending to these companies, which form the backbone of the country’s economy. With its extensive network, built around the ten Banques Populaires Regionales, BCP as one of Morocco’s leading banks has a unique capacity to reach MSMEs in the Moroccan regions.

Sylvia Gansser-Potts, EBRD Director, Financial Institutions, South Eastern Mediterranean and Turkey, said: “This is an important loan which will boost Morocco’s local economy and thus support the government’s goal to make SME development a priority to strengthen competitiveness and growth prospects. Availability of credit to companies is a key factor in their development and we are proud to contribute to improved access with our loan.”

Laurent Chabrier, Head of the EBRD’s office in Morocco, added: “This is the EBRD’s second undertaking with BCP as we already signed a trade finance issuing bank agreement for USD 50 million last year. We are very pleased with the success of this cooperation and it makes us happy to deepen our relationship.”

BCP is looking forward to the conclusion of this new loan, which expands its sources of funding, and allows it to provide further support to Moroccan small and medium-sized enterprises.

To date, the EBRD has invested €340 million in 17 projects in Morocco, in addition to the loan mentioned in this press release, as well as €130 million worth of trade-facilitation credit lines with local banks. Through its Small Business Support programme, EBRD also initiated more than 130 technical assistance capacity-building support programmes that directly benefit Moroccan small and medium-sized enterprises.

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