The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has granted a $100m senior loan to QNB Alahli for on-lending to firms, specifically focusing on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The move is a response to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Egypt, as businesses experience a decrease in activities, turnover and/or profitability.
This is the first investment to be delivered in Egypt under the EBRD’s coronavirus Solidarity Package, which was set up to meet the immediate short-term financing needs of existing clients.
The EBRD views SMEs as an important segment of Egypt’s economy, and supporting them during these challenging times remains a priority for the bank.
It expects to dedicate all of its activities to combating the economic impact of the crisis and stands ready to provide support worth €21bn over the period over 2020-2021.
The bank is providing a $100m increase on an existing uncommitted trade finance limit for QNB Alahli under the former’s Trade Facilitation Programme. The limit, which now stands at $250m, will help meet the increased demand for import and export transactions.
Heike Harmgart, the EBRD’s Managing Director for the southern and eastern Mediterranean region said, “This financial package is key for the resilience of local Egyptian businesses, and it will provide much-needed funding to SMEs, large enterprises and trade companies in this global crisis.”
Mohamed El-Dib, Chairperson and Managing Director of QNB Alahli, said, “The latest transactions further show that the top priority of both the EBRD and QNB Alahli is to support clients through these challenging time, which is in-line with the Central Bank of Egypt’s directions to support SMEs.”
QNB Alahli is one of the EBRD’s largest clients in Egypt’s financial sector. The bank has been a longstanding partner of the EBRD since 2015, when the first SME loan and trade finance facility were signed.