Ashrafieh, Monday 3 July 2017 – Byblos Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed their fourth Global Loan agreement, under which EUR 100 million will be on-lent to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as to mid-cap companies in Lebanon, in what represents some 40% of the total amount of credit granted recently by EIB to Lebanese banks. The agreement was signed by Semaan Bassil, Chairman and General Manager of Byblos Bank, and Dario Scannapieco, Vice-President of EIB.
This fourth Global Loan will help create jobs, grow the economy and support local firms with their financing needs. This credit line will be made available via Byblos Bank’s network to firms operating in industry, tourism, services, healthcare, energy, telecommunications, information technology, higher education, and various knowledge-based industries. It can be used to offer local companies medium- to long-term financing at competitive interest rates, allowing them to cover their capital expenditure and working capital.
“Byblos Bank and the EIB have built a healthy relationship over the years, shaped by shared visions and values, in addition to a vested interest in seeing SMEs in Lebanon grow and prosper, benefiting the economy as a whole, curtailing poverty and making jobs available for market entrants and others,” Mr. Bassil said following the signing. “Byblos Bank is strongly positioned to support SMEs with what they need in resources, thanks in large part to its strong record of sound lending practices, a remarkable corporate culture, and the ability to build sustainable relationships with its clients”, he added.
Mr. Scannapieco reiterated the importance of supporting SMEs. “The EIB is again joining forces with Byblos Bank in an effort to provide a significant contribution to SMEs and mid-caps – the drivers of the economy,” he explained. “Our credit will contribute to increasing employment as well as economic activity. The new credit line comes under the EIB’s Private Sector Support Facility, which seeks to increase the economic resilience of the Lebanese economy.”
With the signing of its first agreement in 2005, Byblos Bank became the recipient of the first Global Loan without a state guarantee ever granted by EIB to the private sector in the Mediterranean partner countries without a state guarantee. It allowed Byblos Bank to lend USD 60 million and was followed in 2007 by a second agreement worth USD 87 million, and in 2014 by a third worth USD 52 million. Twelve years of successful cooperation between Byblos Bank and the EIB encouraged both entities to renew their collaboration, engaging in a fourth agreement this year and effectively elevating the total amount of credit granted to USD 310 million.
With strategic partners such as the EIB, Byblos Bank has built a strong reputation for market leadership, financial solidity, and confidence on a global level.