The EBRD is making its second loan in the Tunisian leasing sector, providing a 10 million facility that will help small enterprises gain access to finance in a market that remains difficult.
The credit to Tunisia s largest leasing company, Tunisie Leasing, will be delivered in two tranches and 3 million of the total will be supplied by the International Cooperation and Development Fund of Taiwan.
Tunisie Leasing will use the funds to finance leases to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises for the acquisition of goods such as office equipment or commercial vehicles and of real estate.
EBRD support for the leasing market in Tunisia is part of the Bank s overall drive to support the country s financial sector and also to reach out to smaller enterprises that find it hard to access capital.
The leasing market provides a useful alternative source of funding to bank loans for smaller companies.
EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti, speaking in Tunis at the signing of the investment, said, We are very happy to be working with Tunisie Leasing on this important investment that makes sure funding is available to those small firms that are so crucial to the country s economic development. Tunisie Leasing s strong market position will make sure that we can reach out more remote regions of the country and where access to finance is even more difficult, he added.
Fethi Mestiri, General Manager of Tunisie Leasing, said that this first operation with the EBRD will increase his company's capacity to finance SMEs and will contribute to the diversification of its funding sources.
The loan to Tunisie Leasing will be in euros but the sub-loans will be provided in Tunisian Dinars, an important element that ensures that the companies taking on the leases are not exposed to any foreign currency risks.
The EBRD has been investing in Tunisia since September 2012, providing financing so far of close to 150 million in over a dozen projects.