The total small and medium enterprise (SME) loan portfolio at United Bank-Egypt reached EGP 1.5bn, which is 15% of the total credit portfolio at the bank, according to Chairperson of the bank Ashraf Elkady.
He added that the bank seeks to boost the percentage of SME loans of the total credit portfolio to 20% by 2018, which is the rate set by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) for banks to reach within four years of launching the initiative in January 2016.
Last week, United Bank signed a new contract with the Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises Development Authority (MSMEDA) worth EGP 50m to finance small projects in Islamic form.
According to Elkady, the value of the contracts signed by the bank with the authority between 2012 and until now reached EGP 595m, which was channeled to finance small business loans on traditional and Islamic schemes.
Elkady said that five contracts to develop small enterprises worth EGP 395m were signed, through which 1,500 loans to these projects were granted, which contributed to creating some 8,000 temporary and permanent jobs.
He added that there were three contracts worth EGP 150m to finance small enterprises on Islamic forms, which unlocked over 500 opportunities for these projects and provided 4,500 permanent and temporary jobs, aside from the EGP 50m latest contract.
“The strategy of United Bank aims to expand in financing small and medium enterprises, in accordance with the CBE’s initiative, to support the state’s development plans and improve living standards using the bank’s 52 branches across the republic and a wide package of high level banking technologies,” Elkady said.
He added that the contract signed with the MSMEDA is part of the bank’s general policy aimed at diversifying the provision of traditional Sharia-compliant financing services to suit the various needs of customers, as well as directing funding for projects for women to encourage and improve their standard of living.
Niveen Gamea, head of the MSMEDA, said that signing this contract is a continuation of the fruitful cooperation between the authority and United Bank over the past five years and is in line with the directives of Minister of Trade and Industry and Chairperson of the authority Tarek Kabil to diversify the financing products that the authority offers to owners of small projects or those who want to establish new ones, which helps in pushing forward and developing the national economy.
She pointed out that the contract targets financing the purchase of tools and equipment, as well as working capital, financing construction, buildings and equipment for new small and existing projects operating in various sectors of economic activity, which have technical and economic feasibility.
She noted that the contract includes implementing 180 financing jobs to small enterprises that should provide some 1,600 jobs.