QNB Al-Ahli is taking part in the ongoing UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP27) being held in Sharm El Sheikh till 18 November, which is witnessing broad participation of international institutions.
As a subsidiary of QNB Group — the largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa — QNB Al-Ahli presented the group’s efforts in support of climate action by offering finances and technical support and encouraging corporates and entrepreneurs to establish multi-sector green projects.
In this regard, QNB Group is considered a pioneer in sustainable financing for both the corporate and retail sectors. Hence, QNB Group took the lead as the first Qatari bank ever to issue green bonds at a value of $600m. Moreover, it issued the first green private placement investment worth $50m between QNB Finansbank A.S. and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
In another unprecedented step, QNB Group participated in the first green repurchase agreement (REPO) in Qatar.
As QNB Group’s subsidiary, QNB Al-Ahli set an ambitious sustainability strategy that entails establishing partnerships with major development institutions to provide adequate finance programmes to support business owners to cope with and promote the transition to the green economy, including successful partnerships with the World Bank and EBRD, backed by the EU and the Green Climate Fund.
The cooperation portfolio between the EBRD and QNB Al-Ahli to support the green economy reached more than $170m. Accordingly, QNB Al-Ahli has been the first bank in Egypt to cooperate with EBRD in several green and sustainable finance programmes in foreign currency.
This is in addition to providing technical support and investment incentives, as the bank managed to offer finance packages for projects, mega companies, and SMEs operating in various sectors.
Secondly, signing international agreements on environmental risk management; QNB Al-Ahli became a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking. The principles focus on scaling up risk management to include environmental and societal risks, along with encouraging banks to increase financing for eco-friendly projects in support of financial inclusion and digital transformation, in addition to applying the highest standards of governance and transparency.
Thirdly, supporting QNB Al-Ahli clients and enabling them to implement many green and sustainable projects. QNB Al-Ahli carried out several successful models in supporting sustainable financing for its clients, helping them adapt to climate change through a range of innovative financial solutions.
It also offered financing packages to several mega-companies and SMEs in various sectors, including the industrial, agricultural, commercial, and service sectors, as well as the residential sectors that implement green projects.
This included loans to establish solar power plants, waste management facilities, and recycling companies to convert waste into alternative fuel. This is in addition to projects for resource optimisation, energy, and water.
The bank has also supported many promising agricultural companies by granting loans to finance the development of modern irrigation networks in different regions.
The bank is also always keen to support SMEs to enhance their positive role in promoting the economy, as the bank succeeded in allocating about 26% of the total credit portfolio for financing these projects, which exceeds the targeted quota set by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).
Within the framework of QNB Al-Ahli’s policy to attract talents, the bank launched the fourth edition of the business incubator within the framework of the Nilepreneurs Initiative, which is sponsored by the CBE and implemented by the National Nile University.
The edition was launched under the slogan ‘Sustainable Product Design Towards achieving sustainable development goals and Egypt’s 2030 Vision,’ and aimed to exploit the potential of innovative youths to contribute to establishing new projects, deepening the local industry and creating job opportunities, thus contributing to increasing economic growth and achieving sustainable development.
QNB Al-Ahli is one of the leading banks to participate in the Nilepreneurs Initiative, and it has a pioneering and remarkable role in supporting a large number of entrepreneurs and providing successful models for innovative ideas and sustainable start-up projects.
The bank also recently opened five business centres within the framework of supporting entrepreneurs in Shebin Al-Koum City in Menoufiya, New Damietta, and Beni Suef. These centres spread awareness for owners of small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs.
Fourthly, participating in the CBE’s initiatives for sustainable development goals. QNB Al-Ahli also participates in all the initiatives launched by the state and the Central Bank of Egypt that support carbon emissions reduction and environmental protection, including the national presidential initiative to replace old cars and convert vehicles to run on natural gas to reduce environmental risks and pollutants caused by car exhaust.
This is to improve the lifestyle of citizens, their means of transportation, and deepening the automotive and relevant industries, while encouraging the use of natural gas, which saves about 50% of the cost of conventional fuel.