Egypt’s Banque Misr SME lending grows 17 times in 3 years

Banque Misr, Egypt’s second largest public bank, had increased its lending for small and medium-sized businesses by 17 times in the past three years, vice chairman said on Monday.

Hossam Abdel Wahab said the Central Bank of Egypt’s initiative for SMEs had boosted the Egyptian banks’ role in backing SME projects.

Banque Misr’s credit portfolio for SMEs currently exceeds 21 percent, Abdel Wahab added during a local financial newspaper conference in Cairo.

The bank owns a network of 700 branches across the country, following the opening of 70 branches during 2019, he said.

It aims to open 70 more during 2020 as part of the bank’s financial inclusion strategy.

Previously, Egypt’s central bank (CBE) launched an initiative to encourage SME financing, saying that banks were required to allocate 20 percent of their total credit portfolios to financing SME projects until 2020.

The banks were to offer around 200 billion pounds to finance 350,000 companies and thus create job opportunities for more than four million people.