The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is boosting its support for trade in Egypt, providing a range of loans that will benefit the country’s exporters and importers.

Under its trade facilitation programme (TFP), the EBRD has extended three trade finance lines to Emirates NBD Egypt (US$40mn), Egbank (US$20mn) and to Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait-Egypt (US$10mn).

The banks thus become the latest of now 11 issuing banks in Egypt that the EBRD is supporting under its TFP.

The facilities will allow the banks to issue guarantees in favour of international commercial banks to cover the commercial payment risk of transactions the Egyptian banks undertake. The EBRD will also provide cash financing for pre-export and post-import financing.

As part of the TFP, the banks also receive “technical capacity building”, which includes advisory services, e-learning programmes and interactive workshops. The purpose is to transfer know-how and share best practices in trade finance.

Egbank’s CEO and managing director Nidal Assar says the support will foster the bank’s trade finance business and give it the opportunity to expand its investments in major lucrative markets.

Meanwhile, Khaled El Salawy, CEO and managing director of Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait-Egypt, says the facility will allow the bank “to further expand its trade finance operations to new untapped areas”.

“Such valuable partnerships support the bank in pursuing its proactive strategy to provide innovative trade finance solutions that meet our clients’ needs and help them grow their business,” he adds.

The TFP currently includes over 100 partner banks in 28 countries, with total transaction value of €15bn.

Besides expanding its TFP in Egypt, the EBRD has made a number of other moves to boost business lending in the country.

For one, it is providing a US$30mn credit line to the Arab African International Bank (AAIB) as well as US$75mn to Banque Misr, both for on-lending to SMEs in Egypt.

In a statement, the EBRD says that “although SMEs account for over 90% of all firms in Egypt and provide the majority of jobs, their access to finance remains limited”, which the bank is seeking to change with these facilities.

It has also offered a senior loan of US$20mn to QNB Alahli, the first loan under the EBRD’s new Egypt Women in Business programme. The aim is to strengthen the role of women in the economy by providing access to finance through credit lines to local banks, as well as business advice, training and support for women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses.

Finally, the EBRD is providing a 10-year subordinated loan of up to US$100mn to Egypt’s Commercial International Bank (CIB) to strengthen the bank’s capital base and grow its lending in the country.

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD and has received funding since 2012. To date, the EBRD has invested more than €3bn in 66 projects in the country.