The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has granted a $200m financing package to the National Bank of Egypt (NBE).
The financing package will be used in trade and for on-lending to local companies impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Under the facility, $100m of the package will go to short-term loans to private sector small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and firms facing decreased activities and financial turnover.
The other $100m will go to existing uncommitted trade finance for NBE, as part of EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme. This will see the programme’s financing package reach $300m, and will help meet the increased demand for import and export transactions.
EBRD First Vice President Jurgen Rigterink said, “We are very happy to partner again with tge NBE to provide financing to local small businesses, the backbone of the economy. Strengthening this segment of the Egyptian economy has never been more important than during this crisis.”
“The NBE is committed to minimising the economic and financial impact of COVID-19 on the Egyptian economy and our customers in particular,” NBE Chairperson Hisham Okasha said. “This new facility, under the EBRD’s Solidarity Package, targets a crucial segment of the economy, which we will continue to support, thus ensuring its resilience.”
Okasha added, “This facility comes on the heels of an increase of $100m in our trade finance programme with the EBRD, as well as the signing of a package to the amount of $150m to support young people in business, skills in business and green climate financing.”
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the EBRD now expects to dedicate the entirety of its activities in fiscal year (FY) 2020/2021 to combating the economic impacts of the crisis. It stands ready to provide support worth up to €21bn over this period in the 38 emerging economies where it invests.