The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting for the first time the expansion of international trade in Lebanon with a US$ 50 million trade finance line to Fransabank.
Fransabank, the country’s third-largest lender, will become the first issuing bank in Lebanon under the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP).
The EBRD’s TFP promotes foreign trade to, from and within the economies where the Bank invests, including Lebanon. Through the trade facility to Fransabank, the EBRD will support international and intra-regional trade in Lebanon by providing guarantees and cash advances for the import, export, and local distribution of imported goods, according to the EBRD.
EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said: “We greatly value our partnership with Fransabank, a market leader in trade finance in Lebanon. This trade line will further foster trade integration in the region and will contribute to the resilience of the Lebanese financial system, thus promoting the country’s overall economic growth.”
Fransabank Chairman Adnan Kassar said: “This trade finance credit line from the EBRD constitutes the first cooperation between our two institutions since Lebanon joined the EBRD and became a recipient of investment, and it will certainly be followed by other ways of collaboration. We are glad to be the first Lebanese bank to join the EBRD’s TFP. This line will allow us to further expand our customer base and support our clients’ trade finance activity.”
The EBRD’s TFP has been running since 1999 and currently includes over 100 partner banks in 26 countries where the EBRD invests, and more than 800 confirming banks worldwide.
Lebanon became a recipient of EBRD investment in September 2017, joining Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia as part of the Bank’s southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region, where the EBRD has been investing and engaged in policy since 2012. In May 2017 the West Bank and Gaza also became recipients of EBRD investment.
To date the Bank has invested over €6.5 billion in 170 projects across the SEMED region.