The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) granted EGP 1.65bn to 2,663 small and very small enterprises from January to April 2016, according to deputy chairperson of the bank, Mahmoud Montasser.
Financing these projects comes in the framework of the initiative launched by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to support small and very small enterprises. It also signifies the bank’s recognition of the importance of these projects in achieving development, creating new job opportunities, and improving citizens’ standards of living.
Montasser said that 73% of these projects obtained loans to expand their existing activities, while 27% of them were newly established.
The bank was able to attract 1,910 new customers, which accounts for 72% of the total projects which have benefited from the initiative since its launch. This means that new segments that were not dealing with banks before have joined, therefore achieving the concept of financial inclusion.
New SME customers benefitted from a total of EGP 1bn in financing, which represent 61% of the total financing granted in the framework of the initiative. The financing granted with the aim of expanding existing projects within the scope of the two segments amounted to EGP 1.36bn, while the financing of the newly established projects amounted to EGP 290m, according to Montasser.
Montasser stated that governorates in Upper Egypt acquired the largest share of customers benefiting from the initiative and in the values of the financing granted in the segment of very small enterprises. Their share alone amounted to 39% of the number of customers and 30% of the total financing. These governorates were followed by governorates in the north with 27% of customers and 30% of financing, then the Canal governorates by 14% of customers and 11% of financing.
The activities of the small and very small enterprises that the NBE financed in the framework of the initiative varied between industrial, agricultural, service, and commercial activities.
In the same context, the NBE won an award from the Banker Africa institution, affiliated with the international CPI financial institution, as the best bank in North Africa in the field of financing small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) for 2015.
Montasser explained that Banker Africa grants this award to the best banks in the countries covered by the assessment based on the size of the financing portfolio for SMEs, the diversity of activities financed, their growth rate, rates of default, and the number of customers.
The NBE won this award because its financing portfolio for SMEs exceeded EGP 18bn at the end of 2015, which benefited more than 42,000 projects covering all economic sectors and activities.
The bank aims to increase the size of these loans to EGP 24bn by the end of June, said Montasser.
The bank has set a new way to simplify all procedures of financing these projects, depending on a professional 1,000-member team of marketers. The bank is working on increasing their number to 1,500 this year.
He added that the bank participated in the “Mashroak” (Your Project) initiative, in cooperation with the Ministry of Local Development, that provides an integrated package of financing services.
The bank injected about EGP 242m directed to 1,536 projects as part of the initiative.
The bank has also participated in cooperation with the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade in “Gameiti” project, in addition to its continuous participation with the Social Fund for Development that resulted in the signing of 112 contracts with total financing of EGP 11.2bn, which benefited more than 154,000 small projects.