National Bank of Egypt braces for four-year plan to boost SME financing

National Bank of Egypt (NBE) plans to raise its finances for national small and medium-sized projects to around 70 billion Egyptian pounds ($7.8 billion) in the coming four years.

The SME financing portfolio of NBE, the biggest public lender in the country, currently stands at 28 billion pounds since the bank started financing this sector in 2010, its retail banking head Hazem Hegazy said in a conference in Cairo on Tuesday.

Speaking at the Second Annual Leasing Conference, Hegazy said NBE’s total financing portfolio account for 230 billion pounds.

There are around 2.4 million small projects that are not included in the formal financial system, signalling a major obstacle for both banks and financial leasing firms to fully support the SME sector, Hegazy highlighted.