Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

In a bid to bolster the robustness and competitiveness of Morocco’s private sector, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has granted Bank of Africa – BMCE Group (BOA) a substantial credit line amounting to €50 million. This financial facility is specifically earmarked for on-lending purposes to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, aiming to address the prevailing gap in adequate financial services within Morocco’s banking industry.

The €50 million loan is extended to BOA under the esteemed EBRD Financial Intermediaries Framework (FIF). By availing these funds, BOA is better equipped to meet the financing needs of MSMEs, which have historically faced limited access to capital from traditional financial institutions in Morocco. This partnership between the EBRD and BOA signifies a collaborative effort to channel much-needed financial support towards the growth and resilience of MSMEs in Morocco’s private sector.

The credit line was signed by Mark Bowman, EBRD Vice President, Policy and Partnerships; Brahim Benjelloun-Touimi, Director and General Manager of Bank of Africa; and Khalid Nasr, BOA’s Executive General Manager responsible for CIB and Morocco. 

Mark Bowman said, “We are pleased to sign this facility with Bank of Africa It will support one of the EBRD’s key partners in Morocco in this challenging global economic environment, which is aggravated by the war on Ukraine, and help mitigate its impact on MSME lending. We also hope that the recently approved TFP limit increase will help address trade finance gaps and foster economic resilience in Morocco.” 

BOA’s Director and General Manager, Brahim Benjelloun-Touimi said: “The signature of this €50 million facility is one of the milestones of an ever-closer partnership that we have maintained for a decade with the EBRD. We continue with our strategy of more inclusive finance, particularly regarding those who represent the bulk of the Moroccan productive fabric, namely SMEs, and remain resolute in our quest for a positive impact on our customers, our stakeholders and more generally on the environment of our activities.”

The EBRD recently increased the total trade line limit granted to Bank of Africa under its Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) from $150 million to $175 million. This will support BOA in issuing guarantees in favour of confirming banks and provide cash financing for pre-export, post-import financing and local distribution. It also means that BOA and its private MSME and corporate clients can continue to import a large variety of goods into Morocco.  

With this increased limit, BOA can also further support Morocco’s green economy, as it is a key contributor to the EBRD’s Green Trade Facilitation Programme, notably by sourcing transactions for scrap metal and forestry from sustainable sources. To maximise the impact of this programme, BOA will receive a comprehensive technical assistance package under the TFP framework consisting of advisory services, access to the EBRD Trade Finance e-Learning Programme, and interactive workshops on different trade finance topics. 

BOA is the third-largest bank in Morocco. The group is listed on the Casablanca Stock Exchange and is present in 32 countries, including sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. It is one of the EBRD’s main partners in financing SMEs in Morocco and its largest partner in supporting foreign trade. Since BOA joined the TFP, a total of 500 trade finance transactions have been supported for a cumulative volume of more than €1 billion. In 2022 the TFP supported 67 transactions for a total volume of more than €184 million.