The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has extended a loan of up to $100 million to Egypt’s Commercial International Bank (CIB) to help the bank increase support to clients and companies whose cash flows have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, IFC said in a statement on Sunday.
The loan is IFC’s first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region through its COVID-19 fast-track financing facility.
The funding will help the CIB, a longstanding partner of the IFC in Egypt, to provide short-term loans to corporations and businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), facing liquidity challenges, according to the statement.
“Access to finance for thousands of smaller enterprises in Egypt is crucial during this Covid-19 crisis. The IFC’s support for CIB will help ensure a continuous flow of financing and will support a quicker recovery for businesses,” IFC country manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen Walid Labadi said.
In June, the IFC said that it had allocated up to $10 million to invest in a local Egyptian company to help it expand the installation of digital prepaid and smart electricity metres in Egyptian homes.
The investment will support government reforms to improve accuracy in billing, give consumers more payment options and provide consumers with better information about their energy use in order to encourage savings, according to the IFC
In April, the IFC announced that it is investing around $20 million through the direct investment fund (SPE AIF I) that focuses mainly on Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia, where access to equity is especially constrained because of macro-economic and political challenges.
The fund is dedicated to meet the needs of fast-growing companies, help mobilise additional institutional capital in high-growth sectors and strengthen capital markets.
During 2020, the IFC has invested a total of $40.5 million in private equity and venture capital funds to support businesses and companies in MENA, according to the IFC.