The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a US$ 50 million loan to the National Bank of Kuwait-Egypt (NBK-Egypt) to support small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) in Egypt.
SMEs account for over 90 per cent of active enterprises in Egypt and contribute to the majority of total employment in the country. However, access to finance for SME’s remains limited and resolving this issue has become a top priority for the authorities, according to EBRD.
The proceeds of the EBRD’s loan will be on-lent to private SMEs, contributing to increase available funding to this vital sector.
Philip ter Woort, the EBRD Director for Egypt, said: “SME lending is an important pillar of the EBRD’s strategy in Egypt. We are very pleased to partner with NBK-Egypt, a well-positioned bank to channel funding for this underserved segment of the economy, contributing to the creation of job opportunities.”
Dr. Yasser Hassan, Managing Director of National Bank of Kuwait-Egypt, said: ” “Under this loan, we will provide credit facilities to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises according to the economic feasibility of each project. This step stems from the confidence of the National Bank of Kuwait Group of the Egyptian economy and the prospects for growth thanks to its potentials and strong bases”.
The SME credit line will be supported by technical cooperation activities funded by the SEMED Multi-Donor Account and the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.
The EBRD has invested in Egypt in excess of €1 billion through 27 projects (including regional) since the start of its activities at the end of 2012. The Bank’s investments include the financial sector, agribusiness, manufacturing and services as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater and contributions to the upgrade of transport services.