The Financial, Ventures Africa, EBRD, by Nibal Zgheib (March 9, 2013) -- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is partnering with Banque Marocaine du Commerce Exterieur (BMCE Bank) to help Moroccan companies engage more widely in international trade so that they can grow further and contribute to the country's economic development.
The EBRD has signed an agreement with BMCE Bank establishing a US$ 75 million trade finance facility to support international and intra-regional trade transactions with tenors of up to three years for guarantees and 12 months for cash advances.
The project is the EBRD's third engagement in the Moroccan banking sector and the largest transaction to date. It is an extension of the Bank's Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) and will support BMCE's export and import activities by facilitating the distribution of imported goods and contribute to the overall growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Under the agreement, the EBRD will issue guarantees for international trade transactions made by BMCE. The Moroccan bank will benefit from TFP's extensive trade finance network and technical skills transfer.
It will also allow the bank to extend the maturities of its own trade finance products. Participating in the TFP will open up new opportunities to develop trade finance links with the EBRD countries of operations.
Laurent Chabrier, EBRD Director for Morocco, said: "We are extremely pleased to sign today our first project with BMCE. This US$ 75 million trade finance line fulfils EBRD and BMCE goals to foster the growth of Morocco's economy especially by targeting local SMEs. While expanding the TFP portfolio in Morocco, the EBRD will also make available technical assistance and tools, including the award-winning Trade Finance e-Learning Programme."
Mohammed Agoumi, Delegate General Manager in charge of international activities of BMCE, said: "The execution of this US$ 75 million trade finance facility between the EBRD and BMCE Bank is an important new step in the relation between our two institutions, and will lead the way to further cooperation in other fields such as the energy efficiency related-products. This agreement will strengthen BMCE Bank's position as a leading institution in financing Moroccan foreign trade activity; and it is also an important signal of trust, by a distinguished financial institution such as the EBRD, for BMCE Bank and the Moroccan banking sector in general."
Launched in 1999, the Trade Facilitation Programme 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 and short-term loans to selected banks and factoring companies for on-lending to local exporters, importers and distributors.
The TFP currently includes over 100 participating banks in 20 countries of operations with limits exceeding €2 billion in total as well as more than 800 confirming banks worldwide.
BMCE Bank was established in 1959 by the Moroccan authorities and privatised in 1995 when it was acquired by the Benjelloun Group. BMCE Bank operates as a universal bank and provides a wide range of products and commercial services. The group's operations include banking, factoring, leasing and investment banking and it also has a large field presence in Africa and western Europe through its subsidiaries.