EBRD extends $119.5 mln loan to National Bank of Egypt for MSME financing

Doaa A.Moneim , Tuesday 21 May 2024

In a move to support the growth of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Egypt, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) extended an initial $119.5 million (€109 million) A/B loan to the National Bank of Egypt (NBE).

National Bank of Egypt branch. Ahram Gate.
National Bank of Egypt branch. Ahram Gate.


This financing, which includes a B loan syndicated to the Dutch-based, SDG-focused asset manager ILX Fund, is the first A/B loan structure the EBRD has provided to a bank in Egypt.

The loan is part of a potentially larger financing programme that could be implemented in multiple stages.

The EBRD's financing is designed to help mobilize private-sector funding for economic development while diversifying NBE's funding base and supporting its financial inclusion agenda. The credit line will specifically target businesses with a regional focus that are owned or led by women or young people, demographics that remain under-served in the Egyptian market.

"This loan is an important milestone in our longstanding cooperation with the National Bank of Egypt," said Heike Harmgart, EBRD managing director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region. 

“By supporting access to finance for under-served MSMEs, we are contributing to more inclusive and sustainable economic growth in Egypt,” she added.

NBE is the largest commercial state-owned bank in Egypt, and its partnership with the EBRD, which began in 2013, has included trade finance lines, credit lines for financial inclusion, and support for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

The bank has been operating in Egypt since 2012. To date, the EBRD has invested more than €11.9 billion in 178 projects in Egypt, with 81 percent of those investments in the private sector.

The EBRD is one of the financing arms of the European Union, which committed about $8 billion in a bailout package to Egypt over three years in response to the implications of the Israeli war in Gaza and its associated rise of tensions in the Red Sea.

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