Banks operating in Egypt have offered a total funding of EGP 146bn to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) since the launch of the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) initiative to finance such projects, Chairperson of Banque Misr, Mohamed El-Etreby, revealed on Monday.
He pointed out that the banks aim to bring up the figure to EGP 200bn by the end of this year.
El-Etreby added that according to the CBE’s initiative, the banks provide financing to SMEs at a special interest rate up to 5% to support this promising sector. Some EGP 5bn was allocated to finance micro and small projects at this rate, in addition to EGP 15bn for medium enterprises in all sectors, excluding commercial, to finance purchasing equipment and machinery.
The CBE has instructed banks working in the local market to allocate 20% of their loan portfolios to finance SMEs. El-Etreby pointed out that NGOs were also included within this segment.
According to El-Etreby, Banque Misr has injected EGP 24bn in funding SMEs since the launch of the CBE initiative until the end of June 2019, compared to EGP 1.5bn in 2015.
He added that financing SMEs accounts for 19% of the bank’s loan portfolio.
El-Etreby pointed out that the number of beneficiaries of the SMEs initiative amounted to 85,000 households, totalling 590,000 people, noting that the bank increased the number of its employees in the SMEs department from 65 to 138 employees, and raised the number of its branches specialised in the sector from 321 to 521 branches.