OPECFID, AIIB Grant National Bank of Egypt $200m Loan to Boost Infrastructure

In an effort to support Egypt’s efforts to boost investments across various infrastructure sectors, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OPECFID) have approved a loan worth $200 million for the National Bank of Egypt (NBE).

The signing took place in the United Arab Emirates on Monday, and AIIB Vice President for Policy and Strategy Danny Alexander was in attendance.

The NBE is expected to utilise the loan facility by providing loans to the infrastructure sector in Egypt.

According to the bank, this is the AIIB’s first nonregional syndication transaction in the financial institution’s sector, as well as its first on-lending project in the infrastructure sector.

“This is the AIIB’s first engagement with an Egyptian bank and the project will help the NBE diversify its funding sources for lending to the infrastructure sector. It is fully aligned with AIIB’s thematic priority to advance sustainable infrastructure and, in partnership with the OPEC Fund, will support the Government of Egypt’s intention to bridge the maturity gap between the demand for longer-term loans and the availability of short-term deposits in the Egyptian financial system” said AIIB Vice President, Investment Operations (Region 2) Konstantin Limitovskiy

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The NBE’s head of Financial Institutions and International Financial Services, Hesham Elsafty, said that the infrastructure sector is of great importance to Egypt and its economy.

“With the $200 million in funding from the AIIB and the OPEC Fund, the NBE will be in a position to expand its existing funding to this crucial sector, hence improving services offered to Egyptian corporations and making a wider impact on the economy as a whole,” Elsafty said.

OPEC Fund Assistant Director-General for Private Sector and Trade Finance Operations, Tareq Alnassar, said that Egypt’s significant infrastructure needs can be met by increasing investments in both the public and private sectors and that banks such as the NBE will play a critical role in deploying funding where it is most needed.

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“We are delighted to support the NBE’s efforts for on-lending to the private sector and pleased to cooperate for the first time directly with the AIIB in a partner country that is important to our institutions. Our loan aligns well with several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure),” he added.

The AIIB is a multilateral development bank whose focus is financing infrastructure with sustainability projects with a total capital of $100 billion.

According to Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat, 143 projects in various sectors in the field of infrastructure are underway with a total investment of $18 billion.

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