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Banque Misr Concludes Loan Agreement with the European Investment Bank Valued EUR 425 Million for Financing SMEs and Mitigating the Effects of COVID-19
Mr. Akef El Maghraby – Vice Chairman of the Board of Banque Misr – signed a loan agreement valued EUR 425 million in favor of Banque Misr with Ms. Flavia Palanza – EIB Operations Director, via video conference on Tuesday 22nd December 2020 in the attendance of executives representing both parties. The agreement constitutes the first tranche of the loan, which amounts to a total of EUR 750 million, with the second tranche expected to be agreed at the commencement of the coming year. The agreement aims to secure the necessary funding required by small and medium enterprises to assist them in mitigating the repercussions of COVID-19.

The signature of the agreement comes in light of Banque Misr's strive towards supporting and diversifying sources of funding, for use in financing SMEs of various sizes; owing to its pioneering role in supporting the Egyptian economy and its firm belief in the pivotal role played by SMEs in achieving sustainable development. The loan is expected to contribute to strengthening the Bank's foreign currency reserves – utilized in financing SMEs – and is of a 6-year tenor. Worth noting is that this is the third agreement signed by the Bank with the EIB; with the first two having been for EUR 500 million each, disbursed in two tranches; pushing the grand total to almost EUR 2 billion.

Banque Misr has been one of the first banks to achieve the target set by the Central Bank of Egypt, with its investment portfolio for financing SMEs constituting 20% of the total credit portfolio. This has positively impacted the national economy, since the Bank has recently witnessed an exponential growth in financing MSMEs. The sector's financing portfolio amounted to 23.51% of the Bank's credit portfolio, well ahead of the deadline stipulated by the CBE – which concluded on 01/01/2020 and is in line with the state's policies and the directives of the CBE. This is owing to the favorable impact of said projects on the national economy, coupled with the importance of including youth, women and various other social segments, as warranted by the principles of financial inclusion, reduced unemployment and increasing income growth for the individual and family, which will positively impact GDP by boosting societal productivity and covering local market requirements by stimulating production. Banque Misr actively finances MSMEs in multiple sectors – including industrial, agricultural and services – through more than 700 branches across all governorates of Egypt.

Banque Misr also offered the "Express" loan for small projects, which is considered the first integrated digital product launched through the Bank's Digital Transformation Sector – a first in digital banking transformation. This product allows Banque Misr's small project customers to submit a financing application online via the website, without the need to visit the branch, on a step-by-step basis at minimum procedures. The small project financing loan is the fastest loan in Egypt and can be obtained within 5 days from the date of submission, subject to applicable terms and conditions.

The Bank consistently seeks to improve its services, maintain its long-term success and effectively participate in offering services that fulfil the needs of its customers; since the values and strategies of Banque Misr reflect its commitment and dedication to sustainable development and to achieving prosperity for Egypt.