Egypt becomes largest country of EBRD operations in 2018
Egypt became the single largest recipient of EBRD investment in 2018 with the provision of €1.15 billion through 19 projects, covering all sectors of the economy. 44 percent of the Bank’s investments in Egypt were in the green economy.
Supporting the country’s infrastructure, EBRD investments included a €205 million loan to the Cairo metro for urgent works on the underground, a major means of public transport in the Egyptian capital used by 500 million customers per year.
Another major project was a €148 million loan to reduce extreme levels of pollution for the six million people living in the Kitchener Drain area of the Nile Delta.
Improving competitiveness and establishing stronger value chains of small and medium-sized enterprises in Egypt, the Bank supported El Roda Company for Agricultural Development, an Egyptian producer and exporter of fruits and vegetables that specialises in grapes
The Bank also promoted the Egyptian dairy sector through a US$ 7 million loan to support the expansion plan and exports of Obour Land, a leading Egyptian dairy producer.
Continuing to support the financial sector, EBRD extended its trade finance lines to Banque Misr and to Arab African International Bank.
The EBRD has offices in Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt and works on the development of the private sector through support for small businesses via finance and advisory services as well as through direct investment in companies in the agribusiness and industry sectors.
Since 2012, the Bank has invested over €4.7 billion in 92 projects in Egypt, while more than 800 small businesses have benefitted from the Bank’s advisory services, 187 of which in 2018 alone.
In the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region, the Bank invested €2 billion in more than 50 projects in 2018, bringing the total to €9 billion since the beginning of its operations in 2012.
2018 marked the first investments by the Bank in Lebanon and in the West Bank and Gaza. In Lebanon, the EBRD acquired a stake in Bank Audi, the country’s largest commercial lender and extended a US$20 million financial package for BUTEC Utility Services S.A.L. toaddress Lebanon’s urgent energy supply crisis by improving the reliability and efficiency of the distribution grid.
In the West Bank and Gaza, the EBRD provided finance to support small businesses, helped capacity building at the Palestinian Monetary Authority and the development of commercial links with support from the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme.
In Jordan, the Bank supported the country in its next important step to boost the role of renewables in the energy mix by providing a US$ 265 million long-term loan to the National Electric Power Company.
In Tunisia, the bank approved a new country strategy for the next five years and provided €75 million to the national sanitation utility ONAS to upgrade the water infrastructure in 33 small municipalities and alleviate environmental pollution and health risks.
Supporting small businesses in the SEMED region, the Bank also provided advisory support to 586 small enterprises in 2018.
The region continued to benefit from strong donor support, including from the European Union, the EBRD SEMED Multi Donor Account*, the Green Climate Fund, Global Concessional Financing Facility, the MENA Transition Fund and other bilateral and multilateral donors.
Overall, the EBRD overcame significant economic challenges in a number of countries to maintain an excellent level of investment and backing for reforms in 2018. It financed 395 projects worth a total of €9.5 billion, very close to the 2017 record of €9.7 billion.
At its Annual Meeting in Jordan in May 2018, EBRD shareholders asked the Bank to do even more with existing capital to increase investments in existing countries to help achieve Sustainable Development Goals the international community has pledged to deliver by 2030.
The EBRD responded with a plan that sees the Bank making an even greater impact in its regions. EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti told Bank staff this week the EBRD would raise both the quality and the quantity of its investments over the next two years. He was confident the Bank would achieve these ambitious goals.
At the 2019 Annual Meeting, in May in Sarajevo, shareholders will decide whether to investigate possible further expansion — outside the current regions of activity.