The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB), has provided Murabaha financing of 10 million euros to the Bridge Bank Côte d’Ivoire Group (BBGCI). This agreement will facilitate a significant portion of BBGCI’s trade finance needs and support its private sector clients including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
BBGCI, Côte d’Ivoire’s ninth largest bank in terms of assets, will make the funds available to its growing clientele, in particular importing companies operating in sectors such as energy (petroleum), foodstuffs, agrifood and construction.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Nazeem Noordali, Chief Operating Officer of ITFC said, “ITFC is committed to supporting the private sector and SMEs in all of our member states. This is not only about helping their economies to better recover from the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also about stimulating their growth and enabling the creation of sustainable jobs. Our partnership with BBGCI is part of our overall strategy to support SMEs and the private sector in Côte d’Ivoire and throughout the African continent by providing funding, in particular through one of our flagship programs. of West African SMEs’. “
The West African SME Program aims to improve access to finance for SMEs in eight countries of the UEMOA zone (Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Benin, Guinea-Bissau, Mali , Niger, Senegal and Togo) by providing on the one hand capacity building for the selected SMEs and support in their loan application process and on the other an advice and support program for local partner banks.
The Program enables entrepreneurs to strengthen the viability of their business by accessing capacity development trainings in crucial areas such as accounting, finance, business plan development and best management practices, among others. ; on the banks’ side, it is providing assistance to strengthen their services and modernize assessment tools and lending processes.
Mr. Ehouman Kassi, CEO of BBGCI added: “We are delighted with the signing of this first Murabaha financing with the ITFC, which strengthens our ability to support our customers in this difficult period due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Agreement is part of our strategy to increase our trade finance portfolio and better support SMEs that operate internationally. We believe this is the first step in a lasting relationship with ITFC. ITFC’s West Africa SME Program will strengthen our overall capacity vis-à-vis our core customer base, SMEs, allowing us to take advantage of the expected rebound in our economies. “