Soha Soliman, head of financing SMEs department at National Bank of Egypt (NBE), said the Bank targets expanding in financing SMEs because of its effective role in increasing national income and job vacancies, establishing low-cost projects and boosting local industry as these enterprises depends on local raw materials and half-manufactured products.
Soliman added in an interview with Amwal Al Ghad that NBE acquires the largest portfolio for financing SMEs in Egypt, as it reached EGP 8.7 billion and the Bank targets increasing it by EGO one billion during this year. The volume of finances offered by NBE registered EGP 1.6 billion to 6330 new customers at the end of last March. The Bank targets to increase these finances to EGP 2.2 billion at the end of the current year. Soliman will talk about the Bank’s plan tomorrow in the second day of the Arab Banking Conference that is convened in Cairo.
NBE has a SMEs’ customer base of 35 thousand. Soliman confirmed that the Bank was not reluctant in financing any sector including tourism, despite being a high-risk investment. The Bank launched a new product for financing tourism sector at the begging of 2012, and the demands on which represented 80% of the total financing demands.
Asked about financing micro-enterprises, Soliman said NBE’s performing loans portfolio for these enterprises registered EGP 1.2 billion. NBE plans to diversify the sectors it finances. Soliman added that the Bank allocated EGP 600 million to finance micro-enterprises through non-government organizations of which EGP 300 million is used. NBE also offers finances for individuals directly with a maximum limit of 20 thousand. Soliman said the Bank is negotiating with Social Fund for Development over an EGP 100 million finance contract to finance micro-enterprises.