The Industrial Development and Workers Bank of Egypt (IDBE) aims to increase loans for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to EGP 1bn in 2015 to support the development of small enterprises.
According to Hamdy Azzam, IDBE Executive Board Member, the bank is working on increasing the number of debtors to 2,000, compared to 600 customers last year.
What is the plan for the loans portfolio for SMEs by the end of 2015?
We hope that, this year, the loans portfolio will reach EGP 1bn.
Is the increase in loans followed by a greater number of customers?
Bank customers will increase to 233% by the end of this year, to be 2,000 customers compared to 600 customers last year. IDBE’s capital amounts to EGP 500m, while its licenced capital is at EGP 1bn. The bank’s ownership structure amounts to 84.4% to the Ministry of Finance, 3.3% to the public sector, and 12.3% to the private sector.
Why are you currently focusing on small and medium enterprises?
IDBE plans to increase loans for small and medium enterprises in order to achieve the growth rates targeted by the government by the end of this year. The government plans for growth rates to reach 3.5% for the current fiscal year (FY) 2014/2015, compared to 2.1% in the previous FY 2013/2014. There is no doubt that the banking system has a big role in the growth rates of this year.
How do you see the previous four years and their impact on the banks’ loan portfolio?
It is obvious that the past four years were extremely difficult, but after the outcomes of the Economic Summit last March, the Egyptian economy is on its way to recovery. Throughout the past four years the economy negatively impacted the loan portfolio which amounted to EGP 145m, along with 100 clients in 2012. The loan portfolio varies depending on the different sectors, while the industrial sector still occupies the first position as it consumes 50% from the total annual loans.
How much is the interest on the loan for small and medium enterprises?
The bank offers loans with an interest rate of 10%. We offer loans to businessmen associations all over the Egyptian governorates, so that they can re-offer them to clients. Moreover, the bank offers loans to the non-governmental organisations which have a strong access to clients.
Could the bank reach small debtors in remote areas and the countryside?
There is no doubt that IDBE can achieve this, thanks to its cooperation with businessmen associations, along with re-offering loans to small enterprises in different areas. Customers of non-governmental organisations amount to 750,000 clients, which is a great number that could lead to outstanding outcomes.
What about the competition with the Social Fund for Development (SFD) concerning this issue?
There is no conflict with the SFD, as the bank’s strategy matches the fund’s strategy concerning offering loans for micro, small and medium enterprises. The ultimate goal is fighting poverty, providing employment, and eliminating unemployment.
On what basis does the differentiation lie between SMEs?
The revenues of medium enterprises are estimated by not less than EGP 20m and not more than EGP 50m. This goes for the individual client as well as the organisations. As for the small enterprises, their revenues should not be less than EGP 1m and not more than EGP 20m.