SFD and NBE sign 135M EGP loan for financing SMEs
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CAIRO: The Social Fund for Development (SFD) signed Tuesday a loan agreement worth 135 million EGP ($18.9 million) with the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) for funding small and mid-cap enterprises (SME) across Egypt, al-Mal business reported.

SFD head Hanaa al-Hilaly said the loan agreement would be directed at completing suspended projects, boosting new SME, helping gain better access to financial services and providing more job opportunities accordingly.

“The loan, which is part of a governmental long-term finance program for SMEs, is the result of the fruitful cooperation between the SFD and the Ministry of Local Development,” said Hilaly, who added that youth who are running industrial, commercials and public service-based projects will benefit most from the offered loans.

Hilaly adding that the NBE is currently funding over 450 SMEs nationwide providing more than 2,250 job opportunities.

In late May, Hilaly said the SFD is set to pump 1.6 billion EGP at the SMEs sector by the end of current year as a move to promote the field as a whole, to boost SMEs’ contribution to the national economy and to develop poor areas in Upper Egypt, al- Borsa business daily reported.

For providing the required finance, the SFD has signed a tripartite agreement with the NBE and the Ministry of Finance to form an alliance for developing the sector and providing the needed finance.

Since the cooperation between the SFD and NBE began in 1992, over 136,000 projects with investments worth 7.8 billion EGP are being carried out, al-Borsa news reported.

SMEs represent 90 percent of total companies in Egypt since it provides between 70-80 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and about 75 percent of job opportunities, Ahram Gate reported.

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