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IFC Invests in Credit Libanais to Boost Access to Finance for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) in Lebanon


In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: +202 2461 4230
E-mail:
rmustafa@ifc.org


Beirut, Lebanon, November 26, 2018 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group announced the completion of a long-term financing transaction to one of Lebanon’s leading financial institutions Credit Libanais, to expand financing to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) in Lebanon, strengthen market resilience and spur economic growth of the private sector.

The IFC financing comprises a senior loan for the value of $50 million with a hedged fixed interest rate, through a dollar interest rate swap with the bank, to enhance its lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Lebanon. The objective of this funding is to contribute to boost the country’s gap estimated at around $9 billion in financing SME’s, which is expected to boost the social and economic growth.

SMEs constitute around 95 percent of the total companies in Lebanon and provide almost half of the market employment opportunities, despite facing significant financing constraints. About only 16 percent of the total banks’ lending in Lebanon is granted to the SME sector. IFC’s financing package is expected to expand the SMEs lending by 10 percent and the number of SMEs in Lebanon by 25 percent.

Dr. Joseph Torbey, Group Credit Libanais Chairman-General Manager, declared: “IFC’s investment will help our Bank to further sustain our support to SMEs, targeting investments in the Lebanese market and contribute to a wider financing of their projects, which will ultimately lead to stronger economic growth. This funding will also contribute to reducing unemployment, increasing consumers’ income and developing the working force in a variety of skills, in several fields.”

“We aim to strengthen Lebanon’s financial sector by fostering investments that promote sustainable economic growth, particularly in priority segments like SMEs”,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “The investment also highlights our commitment to supporting Lebanon and its banks by providing long term financing that is not available in the market especially in a challenging economic climate.”  

The investment is part of IFC’s strategy in Lebanon that seeks to promote sustainable economic growth in fragile and conflict affected states, facilitate access to finance and help smaller firms create the much-needed jobs.

About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org


 
About Credit Libanais
Credit Libanais, established in 1961, is one of Alpha Banks Group banks in Lebanon. The Bank has a network outreach of 79 branches including local and international presence in Cyprus, Bahrain and Iraq, a representative office in Canada and a subsidiary bank in Senegal, Credit International sa (CISA). CL    enjoy a worldwide relationship with major worldwide international correspondent banks. Leveraging on its extensive branch network, the Bank’s major activities include retail banking services, including cards, corporate banking services, trade finance services, capital markets services and private banking and asset management services. CL holds a dominant position in the e-banking and e-commerce through several of its affiliates and provides technology solutions, logistics and marketing for ATM and POS networks and payment gateway solutions for e-commerce. For more information, visit www.creditlibanais.com.lb