By Nibal Zgheib
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is strengthening private small businesses and trade in Morocco with a €40 million(US$49.91milion) financing package to Crédit Immobilier et Hôtelier, SA (CIH).
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the core of the Moroccan economy and are the most affected by the current health and economic crisis.
This facility is in line with the EBRD’s and CIH’s commitment to strengthening the resilience of Moroccan small businesses and to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Under this facility, the EBRD will provide a €20 million loan to CIH to provide as medium-term financing to private SMEs, increasing the availability of funding beyond the Greater Casablanca-Rabat region, where 70 per cent of the Moroccan economy is concentrated.
This is expected to help the swift recovery of the local economy, as well as strengthen its resilience in the medium and long term.
In addition to this financing, the EBRD is providing a €20 million trade finance line to help facilitate the export and import transactions of Moroccan businesses.
The partnership, the first signed between the EBRD and CIH, will support CIH in its strategic focus towards SMEs by increasing its lending capacity to this sector.
The virtual signing ceremony took place with the presence of EBRD representatives Managing Director for Financial Institutions, Francis Malige, Head of Morocco; Marie-Alexandra Veilleux-Laborie, Head of Financial Institutions of the SEMED region, Taylor and the chairman and CEO of CIH, Lotfi Sekkat.
Operating in Morocco since 1920, CIH Bank is a universal bank offering innovative and digital banking solutions, serving individuals, professionals and businesses of all sizes.
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.