MOROCCO – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has signed an agreement to loan Morocco’s Credit Agricole Group (GCAM) $20 million as part of its foreign trade financing line.

EIB in a statement said that the uncommitted, multi-currency trade finance limit will be used to issue guarantees in favour of confirming banks.

The funds according to EIB will also be used to provide cash financing for pre-export and post-import financing and to provide cash flows for local distribution.

The funding comes at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has seen strong demand for trade financing to keep the import and export of vital goods going.

The EBRD notes that it has responded to this situation by increasing the total limit available under its Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) to a record €3 billion for 2020 alone.

The signing of the Agreement also inducted Crédit Agricole du Maroc to EBRD’s Trade facilitation program where it will gain access to a community of more than 100 issuing banks and 800 confirming banks worldwide.

This according to EIB will expand Crédit Agricole’s correspondent banking network and its international business opportunities.

Joining the Programme will also create the opportunity to develop new products such as factoring which will support small and medium-sized enterprises and intra-regional trade.

The EBRD TFP was launched in 1999 with the aim of promoting international trade between the economies in the Bank’s regions, in the form of guarantees and short-term loans to selected participating banks and factoring companies.

Credit Agricole’s agreement with EBRD follows its $200 million agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) last week to support Moroccan bio-economy and agriculture companies.

 The Moroccan bank also secured a $54 million credit line from the French Development Agency (AFD) in April.

Early this month, Credit Agricole, which is Morocco’s main agricultural bank, released its half year results, revealing a 9% increase in net Banking income for the half year ended June 30.

According to a statement from the Bank, which is the 4th largest in Morocco, Net Banking of the half year ending June 30 stood at 2.1 million dirhams (about US$ 226.43 million).

EBRD, Credit Agricole’s latest financier, has operated in Morocco since 2012, investing approximately €2.5 billion into the country through 66 projects to date.

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