The United Bank targets to achieve growth rates of 20% in its financing portfolio during 2017, according to Nevine Kashmiri, assistant managing director of funding large enterprises at the United Bank. She told Daily New Egypt that the current size of the portfolio is EGP 7bn.
Kashmiri has joined the United Bank at the beginning of January 2017 in order to support its cadres, the expansion of its credit activity, and the acquisition of a larger segment of the Egyptian market in the fields of financing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Islamic financing, and syndicated loans.
According to Kashmiri, the bank is being restructured to increase its value in preparation of the completion of the sale process announced by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) earlier. She expects completion of this process at the end of this year or during the first quarter of 2018.
She said that she is currently restructuring the corporate finance sector of the bank, according to the latest global banking system. She furthermore noted that the sector is split into joint financing administration
“We created administration for large companies by sorting the financed projects according to their sectors, such as service, commercial, industrial, agricultural, food, medicine, construction, and road-paving, as well as other important sectors of the state. We also stayed away from projects that involve greater risks, such as tourism,” Kashmiri said.
She added that they also established specialised departments to finance SMEs and micro enterprises, which the bank focuses on. The projects that are served by this department are classified according to the CBE’s definition of these projects. Additionally there are departments that finance start-up projects and organise Sharia-compliant financing.
Kashmiri revealed that the portfolio of SMEs currently represents 13% of the total loan portfolio of the bank. There is a plan to take it to 20% in 2019, in line with the CBE’s initiative, which launched in January 2016 to support these projects.
She explained that there are special programmes at the bank to finance SMEs, and that the bank is considering a number of products for SMEs and micro enterprises in cooperation with the Social Development Fund (SDF) and Tanmeyah.
The United Bank is keen to establish a unit to follow up with clients who encounter problems, in order to prevent stumbling into additional issues, according to Kashmiri.
Employees at this unit will conduct continuous field visits to customers in order to examine the quarterly budgets of their companies, so that the bank will be in close touch with them and learn about their needs, while offering them the necessary support.
She noted that the biggest challenge for the bank in regard to this matter is how to help customers overcome the negative effects caused by the flotation of the pound. She emphasised that the management of the United Bank is doing everything possible to help its customers overcome this difficult time.