London — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is helping to further increase financing to small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Morocco by providing 217 million Dirhams (up to €20 million).
The loan is provided in two equal tranches to CaixaBank Succursale au Maroc (CBM), for on-lending to SMEs, EBRD said in a statement.
Access to finance and specifically in local currency remains a challenge for Moroccan SMEs which are one of the EBRD's priorities, as outlined in the country strategy, the source added.
In addition, the EBRD's funds aim at improving CBM's balance-sheet maturity and enhancing its SME financing capacity.
Alain Pilloux, the EBRD Vice President for Banking, said: "We are pleased to partner with CaixaBank, to provide this much-needed funding in local currency. SMEs are the backbone of the Moroccan economy and supporting them will increase employment in the country and contribute to economic growth."
"We are extremely glad to sign this loan agreement with the EBRD as this is the first time we partner on such projects in Morocco and we expect it will set the way to a long lasting cooperation between our institutions. This loan agreement comes at a propitious moment as it will further boost our growth and reinforce our presence in this country after the opening of our third branch in Agadir. Last but not least, this loan agreement fits with our core strategy to provide SMEs with appropriate financing," said Ignacio Pino, Country Manager of CBM in Morocco.
Morocco is a founding member of the EBRD and became a country of operations in 2012. To date, the Bank has invested about €1.2 billion in 30 projects in the country.
CaixaBank Succursale au Maroc (CBM) was established in Morocco in July 2009. It is an international branch (succursale) of CaixaBank SA (CBS), the third-largest lender in Spain.