EBRD boosts SME access to finance in Egypt

- EBRD financing package of US$ 25 million to EBank in Egypt - EU-supported facility to expand access to finance for SMEs and women-led businesses - Package to include business advice and training for women-owned SMEs

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is stepping up its support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt with a financing package worth US$ 25 million for the Export Development Bank of Egypt (EBank).

The EBRD is partnering with EBank for the first time. It will provide a financing package of an uncommitted multi-currency Trade and Facilitation Programme limit of up to US$ 10 million. The TFP limit will help with the issuance of guarantees in favour of confirming banks to support trade finance instruments issued by EBank and to provide cash advances to fund trade-related loans to private companies for pre-export, post-import financing and the distribution of imported goods.

The EBRD financing package also includes two senior unsecured loans of up to US$ 15 million in total. The first is for up to US$ 5 million under the Women in Business (WIB) Programme, which will assist EBank in lending to women-led SMEs in Egypt. EBank staff will also receive training and capacity-building opportunities to better serve the financial needs of women-led SMEs. In addition, women entrepreneurs will benefit from advisory services and know-how through the EBRD’s Advice for Small Businesses programme.

As part of the WIB loan, the European Union Initiative for Financial Inclusion Programme will provide funding for risk sharing.

The second loan of up to US$ 10 million will be lent on to Egyptian private-sector SMEs that have limited access to finance.

Heike Harmgart, EBRD Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region, and Ahmed Galal, EBank Deputy Chairman, signed the agreement in Cairo.

EBank is a majority state-owned bank, established in 1983, with the original aim of promoting exports and developing Egypt’s agricultural, industrial, trading and service export sectors. The bank was later transformed into a fully-fledged commercial bank, offering services to corporate, retail and SME clients.

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD. Since the start of its operations there in 2012, the EBRD has invested more than €8.9 billion in 146 projects across the country.

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