Crédit Agricole considers Egypt an important market with excellent potential and tremendous investment opportunities across several sectors, says Crédit Agricole Egypt Managing Director Pierre Finas.
The bank seeks to expand its long-term foothold in the country that has been in place for the better part of half a century.
Daily News Egypt sat down with Finas to learn more about the bank’s vision in light of Egypt’s economy and investment climate.
Can you tell us more about Crédit Agricole Egypt’s business in Egypt and the country’s importance to the bank?
There are strong cultural and economic ties linking Egypt to France. French companies have injected a total of €5bn in investment stock in Egypt, as announced during the official visit of the French President [Emmanuel Macron] to Cairo last year.
As one of the largest banks in France, Crédit Agricole is proud of its deep roots in Egypt that span around half a century. Since its launch in 2006, Crédit Agricole Egypt has successfully become a market player and a partner to the Egyptian economy.
We seek to expand our foothold in Egypt, which we actually consider an important market with great potential and tremendous investment opportunities across several sectors.
Despite the obstacles faced by the Egyptian economy in the last decade, it was quickly back on its feet, which is evident in the bank’s dealings with the private sector and multi-nationals. This was particularly with regard to the economic reform programme that was kicked off by the government in 2016, and which began to bear fruit including the robust growth rates. Likewise, Egypt was among the very few countries that have successfully weathered the severe economic difficulties seen by world economies due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as it maintained positive growth rates.
Crédit Agricole Egypt has just participated in a long-term syndicated loan of €30m granted to the Midor Electricity Company (Midelec). Crédit Agricole Egypt acted as exclusive account bank for the transaction and mandated lead manager and book-runner, jointly with the National Bank of Egypt (NBE). Crédit Agricole Egypt has contributed €12m to the syndicated loan.
What are the most important services the bank provides to its customers?
With a universal customer-focused model, Crédit Agricole Egypt is “a whole bank just for you” serving the entire spectrum of customers, including individuals, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), local and international corporates, and the public sector.
Prioritising our customers’ best interests and satisfaction, Crédit Agricole Egypt presents an extensive range of tailored financial services and solutions and sound advice, thus becoming a full-fledged banking partner for its clientele.
Crédit Agricole has taken long strides in the path of digital transformation. We provide a state-of-the-art banking platform of integrated digital services, entitled “banki by Credit Agricole”, for both individual and customers. Furthermore, we systematically apply the pillars of our strategy, namely sustainability and innovation, across all our activities, which is why Crédit Agricole was named the “Most Innovative Bank” in Egypt.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to bank remotely in line with Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) directives, Crédit Agricole Egypt is catalysing some of its plans for delivering new digital services to further our customers’ convenience and access banking services. This includes the ‘Digital Trade Finance’, which will bolster the movement of trade and stimulate customer satisfaction.
We are also aiming to pursue our path focusing on delivering innovative solutions, such as the initiative to convert club membership cards into electronic payment cards. This also falls in line with the CBE directives for digitalisation of banking services and financial inclusion.