By Nibal Zgheib
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is responding to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Moroccan economy with a US$100million loan to Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP) for on-lending to local private businesses.
The loan is the second in the country under the EBRD Solidarity Package, established to meet the immediate short-term financing needs of existing clients and to strengthen the resilience of the financial sector during the coronavirus crisis.
BCP will extend EBRD funds to corporations and small and medium-sized enterprises that are experiencing a decrease in activity, turnover and profitability to help them address liquidity needs.
In Morocco, the EBRD is one of the first financial institutions to develop adequate financial and advisory instruments to alleviate the impact of the pandemic on the economy.
The EBRD expects to dedicate the entirety of its activities to combatting the economic impact of the crisis and stands ready to provide support worth €21 billion(US424,41billion) over 2020-21. BCP is part of Group Banque Centrale Populaire and the second largest bank in Morocco in terms of lending. It offers a wide range of retail, corporate and investment banking services with a strong focus on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
Morocco is a founding member of the EBRD and became a country of operations in 2012. To date, the EBRD has invested €2.4 billion in Morocco through 65 projects.