Tunisia: €40 million to support SMEs

Jan 29, 2014

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) granted yesterday a €40 million line of credit to BTK bank in Tunisia in order to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) granted yesterday a €40 million line of credit to BTK bank in Tunisia in order to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The loan is part of a financial program with the BTK, which also provides a €10 million line of credit for online trade financing, newspaper La Presse reports.

Mouelhi Hussein, BTK's MD, said that "the Tunisian economy is driven by large groups, but also by a network of small and medium-sized enterprises, less visible and little known, but that create value and jobs".

The EBRD is hoping this line of credit will improve access to finance for Tunisian SMEs, which represent 95 percent of all businesses. These companies often have difficulties accessing credit as they often are unable to provide the guarantees required by commercial banks.

According to a 2011 report from the Union of Arab Banks and the World Bank called "The status of lending in the Middle East and North Africa region", the ratio of loans to SMEs compared with all loans in Tunisia is 15 percent, while this figure is
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