EFG Hermes unit, EALB bank join forces to support Egypt small businesses

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EFG Hermes Leasing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of investment bank EFG Hermes, signed Wednesday a cooperation agreement with the Egyptian Arab Land Bank (EALB) to support local small businesses.

Worth 50 million Egyptian pounds ($2.8 million), the agreement aims to provide finances for the small enterprises’ fixed assets and equipment, at low interest rates, EFG said in a statement.

The agreement is part of the Egyptian central bank’s initiative to support the small and medium-sized enterprises.

In January 2016, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced the SME initiative, saying that Egypt’s banks would inject 200 billion Egyptian pounds into supporting businesses over the next four years. Accordingly, the country’s central bank issued guidelines on how it will incentivise banks to participate in a “comprehensive programme” to help finance SMEs in a bid to create jobs and support its battered economy.