Egyptian banks becoming more supportive of SMEs – official

Banks in Egypt have become more supportive in financing small and medium-sized businesses, said head of retail banking at the country’s largest lender, state-run National Bank of Egypt.

The banks are showing now more interest in financing SMEs after the government took actual steps in applying President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s initiative to help SMEs announced early 2016, Hazem Hegazy further said in an interview with the Egyptian channel OnE.

Financing SMEs is more encouraging now since the Egyptian central issued in early 2016 guidelines that aimed to incentivise banks to participate in a comprehensive programme to loan SMEs at low interest rates, Hegazy added.

The Central Bank of Egypt defined in January 2016, the SMEs according to their annual revenue. Enterprises that have reported an annual revenue less than one million Egyptian pounds are classified as micro-enterprises, between one million pounds and 10 million pounds as very small enterprises, between 10 million pounds and 20 million pounds as small enterprises, and between 20 million pounds and 100 million pounds as medium enterprises.

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