AIIB, OPEC Fund earmark $200 million for NBE to support Egypt infrastructure sector

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the OPEC Fund for International Development have allocated a $200 million loan worth for the state-owned National Bank of Egypt (NBE).

The loan is designed to support Egypt’s efforts to enhance the growth of investments across various infrastructure sectors, AIIB said in a recent statement.

The signing of the loan took place on Monday in the UAE and was witnessed by Danny Alexander, AIIB vice president for policy and strategy, and Hesham Elsafty, NBE’s head of Financial Institutions and International Financial Services.

The NBE will utilise the loan facility by providing loans to the infrastructure sector in Egypt.

This is the AIIB’s first non-regional syndication transaction in the financial institutions sector and the NBE’s first on-lending project directed to the infrastructure sector.

“This is the AIIB’s first engagement with an Egyptian bank and the project will help the NBE diversify its funding sources for lending to the infrastructure sector.” Konstantin Limitovskiy, AIIB Vice President, Investment Operations (Region 2), said.

“It is fully aligned with AIIB’s thematic priority to advance sustainable infrastructure and, in partnership with the OPEC Fund, will support the Government of Egypt’s intention to bridge the maturity gap between the demand for longer-term loans and the availability of short-term deposits in the Egyptian financial system.”

Meanwhile, Elsafty said: “With the $200 million in funding from the AIIB and the OPEC Fund, the NBE will be in a position to expand its existing funding to this crucial sector, hence improving services offered to Egyptian corporations and making a wider impact on the economy as a whole,”

Tareq Alnassar, OPEC Fund Assistant Director General for Private Sector and Trade Finance Operations, said that Egypt’s significant infrastructure needs can be met by increasing investments in both the public and private sectors, and that banks such as the NBE will play a critical role in deploying funding where it is most needed.

“We are delighted to support the NBE’s efforts for on-lending to the private sector and pleased to cooperate for the first time directly with the AIIB in a partner country that is important to our institutions.” Alnassar added.

“Our loan aligns well with several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure),”

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