Banque Misr secures $234 mln loan from IFC to support Egypt’s MSMEs

Ahram Online , Monday 16 Oct 2023

Egypt’s state-owned Banque Misr has secured a $234 million loan from the International Financial Corporation (IFC), the financial arm of the World Bank, to offer financing to privately-owned micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.

Banque Misr Chairman Mohamed El Etreby and IFC Vice President for Africa S rgio Pimenta.
File photo: Banque Misr Chairman Mohamed El Etreby and IFC Vice President for Africa S rgio Pimenta.

The programme aims to create jobs, boost economic growth, and reduce the gender financing gap by offering loans to women-owned MSMEs, which will receive half of the value of the IFC’s finance, according to a press release published by the IFC on Sunday.

The loan marks the IFC's first gender-focused investment in a public sector bank in Egypt.

The funding is comprised of $190.7 million from the IFC and $43.3 million from the IFC's Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Programme One Planet. It will also benefit from concessional funding through the IFC's Global SME Finance Facility.

Banque Misr will use the capital to grow its portfolio of women-led SME clients and provide them with advisory services and mentorship through its ZAAT programme.

Over the past year, the bank introduced financial services to more than 55,000 women entrepreneurs through this initiative.

"Our partnership with the IFC will help more women-led businesses access our SME banking services across Egypt," said Banque Misr Chairman Mohamed El-Etreby.

IFC Vice President for Africa Sérgio Pimenta said increasing financing for women and SMEs can boost job creation, economic growth, and poverty reduction.

The agreement between the IFC and Banque Misr was announced at the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Meetings which are held in Marrakech between 9 and 15 October.

The IFC has an existing portfolio in Egypt of nearly $1.7 billion focused on key sectors including access to finance, infrastructure and gender inclusion. The IFC has invested a total of $7 billion in Egypt, including $3.2 billion since 2018.

In March, the World Bank Group's Board of Executive Directors approved a new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Egypt. The framework lays out the World Bank Group’s strategy for the country from FY2023 to FY2027 and includes financing packages worth $7 billion.

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