BEIRUT: Kafalat Corporation said that loans extended to small- and medium-sized companies under the guarantee of Kafalat totaled $4.3 million in the first six months of 2019, down by 85.1 percent year-on-year the equivalent period of the year before. Kafalat did explain the reasons behind this huge drop in loan guarantees to the SMEs this year.

The total number of guarantees amounted to 36 in the first six months of 2019, decreasing from 223 guarantees given in the same period of 2018.

Industry, agriculture and tourism captured the lions share when it comes to the number of extended guarantees in the first six months of the year, with 13 (or 36.1 percent of the total number of guarantees) and 10 guarantees each (27.8 percent of the total each), respectively.

Specialized technologies followed with two guarantees (5.6 percent) and handicrafts with one guarantee (2.8 percent).

As for the distribution of guarantees by area, Mount Lebanon accounted for the biggest share of given guarantees with 18 guarantees (50 percent), followed by the Bekaa with nine guarantees (25 percent), Beirut with four guarantees (11.1 percent), the south and the north with two guarantees each (5.6 percent) and Nabatieh with one guarantee (2.8 percent).

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