The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has provided a loan of up to $100m to the Commercial International Bank – Egypt (CIB). The funds are to help the bank increase support to clients and companies whose cash flows have been negatively disrupted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The loan is the IFC’s first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region through its coronavirus fast-track financing facility. The funding will help CIB, a longstanding partner of the IFC in Egypt, provide short-term loans to corporations and businesses, including small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) facing liquidity challenges.
Hussein Abaza, CEO of CIB, said, “We are further expanding our existing cooperation in this challenging and unprecedented period. The IFC’s funding will help us strengthen what we offer to our clients across all sectors, and contribute to economic recovery and growth in Egypt.”
The IFC’s loan is part of an $8bn global fast-track financing facility, announced in March, to support businesses and preserve jobs in the face of the ongoing global pandemic. Close to 300 clients around the world have requested support through the programme.
Walid Labadi, IFC Country Manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, said, “Access to finance for thousands of smaller enterprises in Egypt is crucial during the COVID-19 crisis.”
He added, “The IFC’s support for the CIB will help ensure a continuous flow of financing and will support a quicker recovery for businesses.”
The IFC views Egypt as a priority nation in the MENA, with the corporation’s commitments in the country since 2005 totalling $4bn. This includes financing mobilised from other investors, with the IFC also having an active portfolio of 15 advisory projects.