ESFB marks up to $355m for Egyptian projects
Dubai, April 22, 2009
The Egyptian Saudi Finance Bank (ESFB) has allocated EGP1.5 billion ($256 million) to 2 billion ($355 million) to finance strategic projects in Egypt.
It also confirmed its readiness to fund banks affected by the economic downturn with liquidity.
Ashraf El Gamrawy, ESFB managing director, said in an interview with CNBC Arabiya that these feasible projects, especially infrastructure projects, will maintain the targeted growth rates by end of 2009, estimated between 12 and 15 per cent.
El Gamrawy also highlighted the bank's plans to change its name from The Egyptian Saudi Finance Bank to Al Baraka Egypt Bank next June, adding that the bank was able to sustain a 10 per cent growth rate in Q1 2009 and that its profits in 2008 alone exceeded EGP200 million ($35.5 million).
El Gamrawy unveiled a new savings product that will be launched in the Egyptian market called 'Umra Bonds', in which Muslims can perform Umrah for half the actual cost through savings with the bank paying the rest of the expenses through these bonds.
The bank then organises two high-profile Umrah trips annually to Mecca and another medium-level trip for the limited income customers.
The ESFB is the first Islamic bank in Egypt to introduce retail banking products to individuals specific to university tuition, foreign schools, medical operations, holidays.
The bank has EGP5.5 billion ($975 million) worth of liquid assets. – TradeArabia News Service