Amman, 04 March 2015 - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a USD 20 million credit line to Bank al Etihad for on-lending to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). EBRD will also extend a trade finance line of USD 10 million to boost international and intraregional trade. 

Access to finance remains a challenge for Jordanian MSMEs, despite the fact that they account for 95% of active businesses in the Kingdom, provide 70% of private sector total employment and generate approximately 40% of the Gross Domestic Product.

The EBRD is addressing this issue through the MSME framework by disbursing the equivalent of USD 20 million in Jordanian Dinars to facilitate access to finance to these smaller businesses, which have the potential to significantly contribute to economic growth and employment rates.

Dr. Heike Harmgart, EBRD Head of Office in Amman, said, "We are very happy to team up with Bank al Etihad to support MSMEs, which we consider to be the backbone of the economy and a prime sector to develop. Trade is also an important catalyser for economic growth, especially in Jordan. "

In turn, Bank al Etihad General Manager H.E. Nadia Al Saeed, commented, "MSMEs play an instrumental role in catalyzing growth and driving economic development. As such, supporting these businesses is at the forefront of our priorities at Bank al Etihad. I would like to thank the ERBD for its interest in helping us advance Jordan's dynamic MSME sector, and I am confident that our partnership will yield positive results for all involved parties."       

The EBRD will also extend technical assistance, subsequently supporting Bank al Etihad's efforts to enhance MSME lending; develop specified products; and facilitate the transfer of international best practices, knowledge and skills.

Through the USD 10 million trade facility to Bank al Etihad, EBRD will offer cash advances for international and intraregional trade transactions. It will also issue guarantees in favour of global commercial banks, covering political and commercial payment risks of transactions undertaken by Bank al Etihad.

Launched in 1999, the Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) aims to promote foreign trade to, from and among the EBRD's countries of operations. Through the Programme, the EBRD provides guarantees to international confirming banks, as well as short-term loans to selected banks and factoring companies for on-lending to local exporters, importers and distributors.

The TFP currently includes over 110 partner banks in 23 countries where the Bank invests, with limits exceeding EUR 1.5 billion in total, and more than 800 confirming banks worldwide.

Jordan became a member of the Bank in 2012, and to date, the EBRD has committed USD 336 million across 15 projects in Jordan across various sectors. Through the EBRD's Small Business Support programmes, the Bank has also initiated 67 technical assistance, capacity-building, support programmes directly benefiting Jordanian Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).


About Bank al Etihad
Established in 1978 as a public shareholding company, Bank al Etihad boasts a paid up capital of JD 110 million, a capital base in excess of JOD 270 million and a capital adequacy ratio of 14.72%

Bank al Etihad operates a growing network of 37 branches, in addition to 52 ATMs, a central exchange unit, The bank is also a board member and a strategic partner with the National Bank in Palestine owning a 10% share. It also fully owns a brokerage firm "Etihad Brokerage" which was established in (2006)."

Bank al Etihad financed a number of vital infrastructure projects that hold long-term benefits to the Kingdom and its citizens in the electricity, energy, renewable energy, higher education, tourism, water desalination and water treatment sectors. It also offers a variety of products and services that serve corporate clients, SMEs and targeted segments of retail. The Bank also provides Treasury and Investment services.  

This press release has been distributed by Bidaya Corporate Communications on behalf of Bank al Etihad.

For more information or assistance, please contact us at:
Tel: +962 6 585 4002
Fax: +962 6 585 3001
P.O. Box: 930391, Amman 11193, Jordan

© Press Release 2015