By: Islam Fadl
Cairo – Mubasher: Funding small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is one of the top priorities of the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) in the current period.
The state-run bank aims to raise its SME funding portfolio to EGP 100 billion by the end of fiscal year 2019/2020 from EGP 62 billion at the end of November, the bank’s retail chief executive officer, Alaa Farouk, said in an interview with Mubasher.
The SME funding portfolio includes direct credit facilities of EGP 55 billion for about 71,000 customers and indirect credit facilities of EGP 7 billion, Farouk added.
Under the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) SME funding initiative, NBE offered a total funding of EGP 36.6 billion to about 44,400 customers.
As for the CBE’s mortgage initiative, NBE has been in the leading position since the launch of the initiative in 2014, Farouk noted.
The Egyptian bank injected EGP 8 billion into the mortgage initiative as about 75,000 customers have received a total funding of EGP 7.7 billion.
In addition, the retail loan portfolio, which represents 12% of the bank’s total loan portfolio, reached EGP 86.3 billion at the end of November, including EGP 61 billion of personal loans, with plans to reach EGP 100 billion at the end of FY19/20.
The bank aims to inject more funding to the CBE’s low-income mortgage funding initiative, in addition to providing credit cards, personal loans, and all retail banking products, he remarked.
The credit card portfolio registered EGP 5.5 billion, with 1.121 million credit cards, while the deposit portfolio amounted to EGP 1.273 trillion at the end of November.
As part of its strategy towards transforming into a cashless community and enhancing financial inclusion, NBE has issued 1.2 million Meeza cards, the first national e-payment card issued by Egyptian banks.
The bank also aims to increase its digital banking branches to 25 by the end of 2020, he said, noting that four digital branches have already been inaugurated since the beginning of the year and three other branches will be opened in December.
NBE has a network of 498 branches in the country as 26 new branches have been inaugurated since the beginning of FY19/20.
The Egyptian bank also plans to launch QR Code payment system in collaboration with Egyptian banks.
Translated by: Zeinab Adel