MOROCCO – CaixaBank has secured approximately 430 million dirhams (about US$47 million) from The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to support small businesses in Morocco to withstand the coronavirus pandemic.

EBRD in a statement explained that the loan will help CaixaBank increase much-needed funding for local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

In addition, the EBRD explained that it will also support CaixaBank’s expansion strategy aimed at reaching SMEs located outside the Casablanca-Rabat axis.

CaixaBank’s branches in Tangier and Agadir are expected to benefit from the EBRD funding and support, EBRD said in a statement.

In Morocco, the EBRD was one of the first financial institutions to develop financial and advisory instruments to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.

Earlier this month, EBRD signed a similar partnership with Morocco’s Crédit Immobilier et Hôtelier, SA (CIH Bank) to assist small and medium enterprises.

Africainc had then reported that through the partnership, the two financial entities will commit €40 million (US$46.86 million) towards a financial facility that will provide loans to SMEs whose liquidity has been affected by the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

CaixaBank is a leading financial group in retail banking in Spain based in Valencia and Barcelona in Spain.

With over 397 branches and a customer based exceeding 15.8 million, CaixaBank is Spain’s third-largest lender by market value, after Banco Santander and BBVA.

The bank obtained its banking licence in Morocco in 2009, where it now has branches in Casablanca, Tangier and Agadir.

The bank is a major market player in the country with nearly 60 per cent of the 600 Spanish companies active in Morocco being clients of CaixaBank.

Morocco is a founding member of the EBRD and has to date invested around €2.4 billion in the country through 65 projects

Spain is also a founding member of the EBRD and, since 1992, an EBRD donor with a contribution of more than €104 million.

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