The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has provided a US$100mn credit line to QNB AlAhli, Egypt’s fourth-largest commercial bank, to improve its support for small businesses in the country.

The funds will be on-lent to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), a sector of the Egyptian economy that struggles to access finance.

“It gives us a great pleasure to co-operate with the EBRD and achieve this remarkable transaction that goes in line with our ambitions and objectives in supporting Egypt’s business community and its economic development, with particular emphasis on SME segment development and Egypt’s international trade activities,” says Mohamed El Dib, chairman and managing director of QNB AlAhli.

“The EBRD is keen to support QNB AlAhli to continue increasing its activities in the SME area with ambitious growth targets,” adds Philip ter Woort, director for Egypt at EBRD. According to an EBRD statement, the bank is further supporting the expansion of international trade in Egypt by providing a US$40mn trade facility to QNB AlAhli under the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP).

Under this facility EBRD will issue guarantees in favour of QNB AlAhli, covering political and commercial payment risks for transactions made by QNB AlAhli and provide cash loans to fund trade-related advances to local companies exclusively for pre-export, post-import and local distribution of imported goods.