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Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Gov’t requests another EUR 250 mn from EBRD for Abu Qir metro project

DEBT WATCH- More EBRD funds in the pipeline for Abu Qir metro conversion project? The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has received a formal loan request from the government for EUR 250 mn to partially fund a project to convert Alexandria’s Abu Qir railway into an underground metro, Deputy Regional Director Khaled Hamza tells Al Mal. The bank is expected to look into the request sometime next year, he said, without providing further information. The European Investment Bank has already agreed to provide EUR 750 mn to help finance the project, which is expected to cost EUR 1.5 bn in total.

EBRD has invested EUR 1.36 bn in Egypt so far in 2020, Hamza told the newspaper. The investments include EUR 657 mn that were channeled to different industries and EUR 350 mn for trade finance, Hamza said, without giving details on the remaining amount. Overall, the bank supported 13 projects through direct funding, credit lines for on-lending, or trade finance activities by five local banks — CIB, Banque Misr, the National Bank of Egypt, QNB, and NBK Egypt, he added. Those five banks received at least USD 100 mn each, with the EBRD in talks with two unnamed banks for an additional USD 100-200 mn for on-lending to SMEs before the end of the year. According to Hamza, the amount channeled through banks came as part of the EBRD’s covid-19 global solidarity package, which we laid out in our recent sit-down with EBRD managing director for the SEMED Heike Harmgart.

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