Egypt: Best Bank for SMEs 2020
Banque Misr’s SME division generated E£594 million ($37.5 million) in pre-tax profit in the year to the end of June 2019. It was on track to show even better results in the next 12 months, having generated E£443 million in profits in the second half of 2019.
The Egyptian lender, under the leadership of chairman Mohamed El-Etreby, reckons it banks about 420,000 micro and small enterprises, a considerable achievement in a country where business ownership is high, but financial inclusion rates are not. Its average loan size as of the end of December 2019 was E£211,000, against a mean of E£34,000 four years earlier.
Where Banque Misr excels is in working with the little guys. It specializes in funding startups, and in extending facilities that benefit the small merchants that keep Egypt’s economy alive.
For example, it lends against the annual revenues generated by a vendor on his or her point-of-sale machine.
Its product offering works with companies across the SME spectrum. At the smallest end of the scale, it offers working capital to firms generating as little as E£250,000 in annual revenues. And it moves fast, extending credit lines of up to 36 months, within 10 days of an application being lodged. In 2019, it unveiled collaboration with a leading fintech company to build a platform for trading agricultural goods.
At the heart of its SME business are its alliances with national industry associations and unions, including tanners, traders and fishermen. On the CSR side, its hard work overlaps here: over the year it has donated E£300,000 toward the construction of a shelter for fishermen, and E£10 million toward the renovation of buildings in downtown Cairo.