Egypt’s Export Development Bank gets EBRD $25 million financing for SMEs

Export Development Bank of Egypt (EBank) has secured a $25 million financing package from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) designed to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the North African country.

The EBRD said in a statement on Wednesday that it is partnering with EBank for the first time, as it will provide a financing package of an uncommitted multi-currency Trade and Facilitation Programme limit of up to $10 million.

“The TFP limit will help with the issuance of guarantees in favour of confirming banks to support trade finance instruments issued by EBank and to provide cash advances to fund trade-related loans to private companies for pre-export, post-import financing and the distribution of imported goods.” EBRD statement read.

The EBRD added that the financing package also includes two senior unsecured loans of up to $15 million in total. “The first is for up to $5 million under the Women in Business (WIB) Programme, which will assist EBank in lending to women-led SMEs in Egypt.” EBank staff are also set to receive training and capacity-building opportunities to better serve the financial needs of women-led SMEs.

“In addition, women entrepreneurs will benefit from advisory services and know-how through the EBRD’s Advice for Small Businesses programme.”

As part of the WIB loan, the European Union Initiative for Financial Inclusion Programme will provide funding for risk sharing, EBRD added.

The second loan of up to $10 million will be lent on to Egyptian private-sector SMEs that have limited access to finance.

Heike Harmgart, EBRD managing director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region, and Ahmed Galal, EBank deputy chairman, signed the agreement in Cairo.

Established in 1983, EBank is a majority state-owned bank, with the original aim of promoting exports and developing Egypt’s agricultural, industrial, trading and service export sectors. The Egyptian bank was later transformed into a fully-fledged commercial bank, offering services to corporate, retail and SME clients.

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD, and since the start of its operations there in 2012, the bank has invested more than €8.9 billion in 146 projects across the country.

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