Banque Misr’s Board of Directors has agreed to provide the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) with a bridge loan worth EGP 500m, according to the bank’s chairman, Mohamed El-Etreby.
The bridge loan has been given whilst the bank completes all necessary arrangements for a separate loan to the authority worth EGP 2bn.
In a statement to Daily News Egypt, El-Etreby said the final arrangements for the EGP 2bn loan, which is being provided in cooperation with other banks, are almost complete. It is anticipated that the signing of the loan contract will take place within the next few days.
Banque Misr has also contributed $70m towards the loan given for the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC), El-Etreby said.
He added that the loan’s total value is estimated at $525m, with nine other banks working in the Egyptian market also contributing finance, including the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Qatar National Bank (QNB), the Arab African International Bank (AAIB), the Bank of Alexandria, the Arab Banking Corporation in Bahrain (ABC), and the Egyptian Gulf Bank, amongst others.
The EEHC requested the loan to repay Orascom and General Electric (GE), which are currently implementing power plants in Assiut and Damietta. The company had earlier obtained a $521m loan, of which Banque Misr provided a $60m share, to commence with the construction work for the two stations.
El-Etreby said Banque Misr will focus on several areas in the upcoming period, the most important of which is the expansion in loan grants. The loans-to-deposits ratio is set to amount to approximately 21%, which El-Etreby emphasised was low and allows the bank to aim at further expansions.
He added that besides granting funding for major projects, Banque Misr aims to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and expand in financing for real estate projects.
The bank plans to open 275 branches over the next three years, including 225 small branches, according to El-Etreby. This falls in line with the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) initiative, which aims to foster greater financial inclusion and increase the number of bank customers.
Banque Misr’s geographic expansion plan aims to access all areas of the country and its social segments, El-Etreby noted. This has been supported by the CBE’s approval for the bank’s smaller branches to deal in SMEs and micro-enterprise retail services.
El-Etreby added that Banque Misr also aims to provide a good working environment for bank employees, in addition to upgrading its infrastructure with state-of-the-art technology providing products that suit all customers’ tastes.
Banque Misr achieved a 21% increase in loans and deposits by the end of fiscal year (FY) 2014/2015, El-Etreby said. He added that the loan portfolio amounts to EGP 64bn, while deposits amounted to EGP 295bn.
The bank is expected to achieve a profit volume increase of over 50% by the end of FY 2014/2015, with indicators currently being finalised and audited in preparation for release.