By Nibal Zgheib
Small businesses in Lebanon will benefit from a new partnership between Credit Libanais, the country’s ninth-largest bank, and the EBRD, which was sealed in Beirut, yesterday.
The banks signed agreements for the provision of a loan of up to US$50 million and a trade finance limit of the same amount by the EBRD to Credit Libanais. The loan will be used for on-lending to local SMEs to fund investments which will strengthen their competitiveness. The trade finance limit will support companies’ efforts to enhance their integration into international and intra-regional trade.
By joining the EBRD Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP), Credit Libanais will gain access to a community of over 100 issuing and 800 confirming banks worldwide, expanding its corresponding banking network and international business opportunities.
The EBRD TFP was launched in 1999, with the aim of promoting international trade between the economies where it invests, through the form of guarantees and short-term loans to selected participating banks and factoring companies.
Credit Libanais was established in 1961 and today has a leading position in its home market, with a network of 72 branches in Lebanon, in addition to branches in Cyprus, Bahrain and Iraq, as well as a representative office in Canada and a subsidiary bank in Senegal. The bank’s principal activities include retail banking, corporate banking, trade finance, capital markets, private banking and asset management. Currently, Credit Libanais is targeting private small businesses, the backbone of Lebanon’s economy, as a sector with promising growth potential.
The EBRD started investing in Lebanon in 2017 and currently has committed almost €500 million(US$553.68million) in the country. The Bank’s focus is on supporting private-sector competitiveness, promoting a sustainable energy supply and enhancing the quality and efficiency of public service delivery.