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 $25m for the Export Development Bank of Egypt (EBank).
The EBRD is partnering with the EBank for the first time. It will provide a financing package of an uncommitted multi-currency Trade and Facilitation Programme (TFP) limit of up to $10m. 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 $15m in total. The first is for up to $5m under the Women in Business (WIB) Programme, which will assist the EBank in lending to women-led SMEs in Egypt. The 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 $10m 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 Chairperson, signed the agreement in Cairo.
The 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 €8.9bn in 146 projects across the country.