Egypt just got its first licensed SME-focused lender
Egypt just got its first licensed SME-focused lender: UK-based development finance institution CDC Group has been granted a license from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to act as a “tier two” lender in Egypt, according to a statement. CDC will offer as much as USD 200 mn to Egyptian banks, the lender said. “CDC is currently in discussions with a number of Egyptian banks with a view to providing funding that will support their loan book expansion, bringing new products to their MSME (micro, small & medium sized businesses) and export-orientated customers.” According to the statement, CDC has been investing in Egypt since 2003, having provided some USD 115 mn to 20 companies in the country. The lender has also provided financing for the Benban solar power park.
Background: CBE Governor Tarek Amer had announced back in February that the CBE was mulling issuing licenses for tier two lenders. The announcement came days after the IMF released a research paper on bringing SMEs into the formal banking system in the Middle East and Central Asia.