The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and Egypt’s Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade have inked a cooperation protocol that aims to provide local bakeries the required finance to convert their establishments from working with diesel fuel to natural gas.
The CBE said that this protocol comes in line with the state’s plans to adopt natural gas as a fuel instead of diesel for the sake of saving energy.
It also comes under the CBE’s initiative to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), launched in January 2016, that provides loans for the sector with an annual interest rate that is decreased by 5 percent, according to the CBE.
To join the initiative, the bakery owner has to open a banking account at the bank that will provide them with the loan to receive the loan and repay the instalments.
In February, the CBE instructed all banks operating in the local market to pump EGP 117 billion into micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) through the end of December 2022 among other measures the CBE has taken in order to facilitate and ensure access to finance and create millions of job opportunities for young people.
In January 2020, the CBE renewed the SMEs initiative for another four years.
The initiative obliges banks operating in the Egyptian market to appropriate at least 20 percent of loan portfolios to MSMEs.