OPIC gives $500 million for Egyptian/Jordanian SMEs.
During her March trip to Egypt and Tunisia, Secretary Clinton announced that OPIC would provide up to $2 billion in financial support to catalyse private sector investment in the MENA region. Intended to encourage partnerships between US and Arab businesses, she said the OPIC initiative would prioritise support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and grant projects fast-track approval to mobilise capital quickly. OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield joined Secretary Clinton on the trip.
OPIC will guarantee loans by local banks to SMEs, microfinance institutions, non-banking financial institutions and other approved borrowers under a loan guarantee facility that will provide up to $250 million each for Egypt and Jordan.
The facility will target the shortage of SME credit availability in Jordan and Egypt, removing an important impediment to private sector growth. According to a recent study by the International Finance Corporation and McKinsey, there are between 1.9 and 2.3 million formal SMEs in the MENA region, and although more than half of them maintain bank accounts, most do not have access to credit.
"In providing credit to Egyptian and Jordanian SMEs, the project is expected to catalyse growth, expand employment, and support the region's progress toward democratisation. It also aims to transform how banks view lending to SMEs through technical assistance and training programmes for both bank managers and SME management," a press release from OPIC said.
2011 CPI Financial. All rights reserved.
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|Date:||Jul 10, 2011|
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