EGYPT — Commercial International Bank (CIB), one of the leading commercial banks in Egypt, has secured a US$100 million loan from IFC, to help the bank increase support to clients and companies whose cash flows have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Access to finance for thousands of smaller enterprises in Egypt is crucial during this COVID-19 crisis,” said Walid Labadi, IFC’s country manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.

 “IFC’s support for CIB, Egypt’s largest private bank, will help ensure a continuous flow of financing and will support a quicker recovery for businesses,” added Walid.

IFC, in a statement explained that the loan is its first in the Middle East and North Africa through its COVID-19 fast-track financing facility.

The COVID-19 fast-tracking facility is a US$8 billion fund that the IFC announced in March to support businesses and preserve jobs in the face of COVID-19.

IFC which is a sister institution to the World Bank says that close to 300 clients have requested support globally through the COVID-19 fast-track financing facility.

IFC notes that the funding will help CIB, a longstanding partner of IFC in Egypt, provide short-term loans to both corporations and businesses, including small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) facing liquidity challenges.

 “IFC’s funding will help us strengthen our offer to our clients across all sectors and contribute to economic recovery and growth in Egypt.” Hussein Abaza, CEO of CIB, said

According to the IFC, economic growth in Egypt is expected to be undermined by COVID-19.

The crisis has especially hurt Egypt’s key sectors, such as tourism and natural gas, whose activities have slowed down due to restricted international travel and the crash in oil prices.

IFC is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets.

The financial institution has presence in more than 100 countries, using its capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries.

In Egypt, IFC’s commitments since 2005 total $4 billion, including financing mobilized from other investors.

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