The new board of di­rec­tors of the Suez Canal Bank is soon to fi­nalise its strat­egy: El-Re­faie

The Daily News Egypt - - Business - By Hos­sam Mounir

The new board of di­rec­tors of the Suez Canal Bank, headed by Hus­sein El-Re­faie, will com­plete pre­par­ing the bank’s strat­egy and work plan for the com­ing pe­riod soon in or­der to be­gin im­ple­ment­ing it in the near fu­ture.

El-Re­faie told Daily News Egypt that the new ad­min­is­tra­tion aims to ex­pand the bank’s cus­tomer base, in­crease the num­ber of its branches, of­fer dif­fer­ent bank­ing prod­ucts, and fo­cus more on cor­po­rate loans.

He ruled out in­ject­ing a new in­crease in the bank’s cap­i­tal at the present time. He pointed out that the bank’s cap­i­tal cur­rently stands at EGP 2bn and that any new in­crease will de­pend on de­vel­op­ments in its busi­ness size dur­ing the com­ing pe­riod.

Ac­cord­ing to pre­lim­i­nary fea­tures of the plan re­vealed by El-Re­faie, the bank will add 10 new branches in 2018 across the repub­lic, in­clud­ing the Suez Canal gov­er­norates, to reach 50 branches in Egypt.

El-Re­faie ex­plained that the bank cur­rently has 36 branches and will open two more in Nasr City and the 5th Set­tle­ment within the com­ing two months, with plans to con­tract for two more branches in Nasr City and 6th of Oc­to­ber City, which will be opened be­fore the end of 2017, boost­ing the to­tal num­ber this year to 40 branches.

More­over, the Suez Canal Bank has seven branches in the Suez Canal gov­er­norates, in­clud­ing four branches in Suez and one branch in Is­mailia. He stressed that pres­ence in the canal area is one of the prom­i­nent tar­gets of the bank.

In a dif­fer­ent con­text, El-Re­faie said that the Suez Canal Bank aims to boost the size of the small and medium en­ter­prise loan port­fo­lio to EGP 400m by the end of 2017, com­pared to EGP 300m and EGP 140m in the be­gin­ning of the year.

Last week, the bank signed a con­tract with the Mi­cro, Small, and Medium En­ter­prises De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity worth EGP 100m to fi­nance these projects.

El-Re­faie stressed that the SME sec­tor is a top pri­or­ity for Suez Canal Bank’s strat­egy and aims to reach the tar­get ra­tio of 20% of the to­tal credit port­fo­lio within the next three years, be­cause these projects are par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant at this stage as the start­ing point for com­pre­hen­sive de­vel­op­ment.

He pointed out that the bank has launched a spe­cial depart­ment to fi­nance these projects, has at­tracted a num­ber of work­ers in the sec­tor, and is at­tract­ing more lead­ers dur­ing the next phase.

In re­sponse to another ques­tion posed by Daily News Egypt on the role of the bank in fi­nanc­ing mi­cro­pro­jects, El-Re­faie said that the bank is fi­nanc­ing these projects at present by lend­ing to com­pa­nies and as­so­ci­a­tions work­ing in this field.

He noted the bank’s con­tri­bu­tion of EGP 75m in a joint loan ar­ranged by Tan­meyah Mi­cro En­ter­prise Ser­vices led by Banque Misr.

In a re­lated con­text, El-Re­faie said that the Suez Canal Bank has fi­nanced for­eign trade op­er­a­tions worth $500m be­tween the flota­tion of the pound on 3 Novem­ber 2016 and Au­gust 2017.

He ruled out bor­row­ing from in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tu­tions to sup­port the bank’s for­eign ex­change for the time be­ing, not­ing that the bank does not need these loans now, and is now fo­cus­ing its ef­forts on the re­con­struc­tion phase and would pre­fer to be ready for bor­row­ing re­quire­ments from in­ter­na­tional mar­kets or in­sti­tu­tions be­fore think­ing about this step.

“Suez Canal Bank is build­ing a de­cen­tralised re­tail man­age­ment and has at­tracted a num­ber of ex­perts to this ad­min­is­tra­tion from other banks, in prepa­ra­tion for launch­ing this ac­tiv­ity and pro­vid­ing ad­vanced tech­no­log­i­cal ser­vices in line with the as­pi­ra­tions of young peo­ple in the com­ing pe­riod,” he stressed.

Fi­nally, he noted that the bank has man­aged to at­tract about EGP 500m through the Har­vest Cer­tifi­cates it of­fered re­cently, adding that the to­tal de­posit port­fo­lio at the bank reached EGP 29bn, while the loan port­fo­lio is at EGP 9bn.

Hus­sein El-Re­faie, chair­per­son of the Suez Canal Bank

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