The amount of credit allocated to microfinance granted by banks, NGOs, and private enterprises locally rose to LE15.6 billion ($876.4 million) in the second quarter of 2018. Women still constitute 70 percent of active customers who increase to become 2.9 million.
The rise in credit and customers grew by 106 and 33 percent respectively from LE7.5 billion ($42 million) and 2.1 customers during the same period last year, the Chairwoman of the Egyptian Union of Microfinance Mona Zulficar announced.
Zulficar clarified that NGOs have the highest number of customers with a 63 percent market share serving 1.8 million, while enterprises and banks rank second and third respectively.
Enterprises serve 733,000 customers with a market share of 25 percent and banks serve 342,000 customers with a market share of 11.7 percent.
The ranking is different in terms of total financing provided since banks granted LE5.8 billion ($325.8 million) making up 37.6 percent of all microfinance. NGOs come next with a share of 36 percent providing LE5.6 billion ($314.6 million). Enterprises are in the final place with a market share of 26.3 percent giving LE 4.1billion ($230,3 million).
Zulficar stated that the number of enterprises holding licenses to provide microfinance increased to six while those of NGOs rose to 897.
The factors stated by the union’s chairwoman as a drive for the rise in microfinance consist of the increase of financing provided by banks to NGOs and enterprises operating in the microfinance sector, the rise in microfinance credits granted by banks to customers directly, and the growth in number of licensed NGOs and enterprises serving customers in need of microfinance.
That growth is supported by the decisions of the Financial Regulatory Authority to regulate the activities of the microfinance sector, and the incentives created by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to push banks for making microfinance available.
Zulficar praised the CBE for making it mandatory for banks to allocate 20 percent of their credits to micro, small, and medium enterprises as well as supporting the training program targeted to microfinance NGOs in all Egyptian governorates. The program started in June and will last for one year.