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EBRD extends €50 m credit line to support MSMEs in Morocco
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a €50 million credit line to Bank of Africa of BMCE Group (BOA) – the third largest bank in Morocco – for on-lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to support the resilience and competitiveness of Morocco’s private sector.
The €50 million loan is provided under the EBRD Financial Intermediaries Framework (FIF) and will assist BOA in funding MSMEs, which remain underserved in Morocco’s banking sector.
A segment of the loan will help finance companies operating in value chains located in Tangier and Kenitra, as well as in underserved regions to make it easier for small businesses to access finance.
The credit line was signed by Mark Bowman, EBRD Vice President, Policy and Partnerships; Brahim Benjelloun-Touimi, Director and General Manager of Bank of Africa; and Khalid Nasr, BOA’s Executive General Manager responsible for CIB and Morocco.
“We are pleased to sign this facility with Bank of Africa,” explained Mark Bowman. “It will support one of the EBRD’s key partners in Morocco in this challenging global economic environment, which is aggravated by the war on Ukraine, and help mitigate its impact on MSME lending. We also hope that the recently approved TFP limit increase will help address trade finance gaps and foster economic resilience in Morocco.”
BOA’s Director and General Manager, Brahim Benjelloun-Touimi said: “The signature of this €50 million facility is one of the milestones of an ever–closer partnership that we have maintained for a decade with the EBRD. We continue with our strategy of more inclusive finance, particularly regarding those who represent the bulk of the Moroccan productive fabric, namely SMEs, and remain resolute in our quest for a positive impact on our customers, our stakeholders and more generally on the environment of our activities.”
The EBRD recently increased the total trade line limit granted to Bank of Africa under its Trade Facilitation Program (TFP) from $ 150 million to $ 175 million. This will support BOA in issuing guarantees in favor of confirming banks and provide cash financing for pre-export, post-import financing and local distribution. It also means that BOA and its private MSME and corporate clients can continue to import a large variety of goods into Morocco.
With this increased limit, BOA can also further support Morocco’s green economy, as it is a key contributor to the EBRD’s Green Trade Facilitation Program, notably by sourcing transactions for scrap metal and forestry from sustainable sources. To maximize the impact of this program, BOA will receive a comprehensive technical assistance package under the TFP framework consisting of advisory services, access to the EBRD Trade Finance e-Learning Program, and interactive workshops on different trade finance topics.