The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide a US$30mn credit line to the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) to support SME growth in the country, boosting trade.

The new financing follows the EBRD’s US$50mn credit line to NBE in December last year, and will be used to further increase the financing available to Egyptian SMEs.

“The receipt of this second loan in support of SMEs points to the strong relationship NBE enjoys with the EBRD, and emphasises the key role that NBE continues to play in supporting the SME sector in Egypt,” says chairman at NBE, Hisham Okasha.

“Providing financing to SMEs remains NBE’s priority, helping to promote economic growth and boost production.”

Commenting on the deal, the EBRD’s first vice president and COO, Phil Bennett, says: “Strengthening the private sector is one of the main pillars for the country’s economic prospects.”

The EBRD has committed over €600mn to finance a total of 16 projects in Egypt to date, and provides direct technical assistance, through its small business support programme, to around 175 SMEs in the country.