The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a TND 25 million senior unsecured loan to the Compagnie Internationale de Leasing (CIL) for on-lending to local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Tunisia.
The funds will help CIL finance MSMEs, which are very important to the Tunisian economy but remain largely underserved. It will also provide long-term funding to a leasing company in a country where liquidity has been an issue since 2011. CIL will use the funds to extend leases to MSMEs for the acquisition of equipment, light commercial vehicles, trucks, trailers and real estate.
The EBRD has recently established a source of funding in Tunisian dinars, which allows it to provide loans in local currency without requiring hedging. This loan to CIL is the second to be provided by the EBRD under this new facility.
Marie-Alexandra Veilleux, Head of the EBRD office in Tunisia, said: “MSMEs are the backbone of the Tunisian economy and we are very happy to provide this much-needed long-term funding to CIL to finance and develop smaller enterprises. With over 20 years of experience, CIL is a strong partner for the EBRD’s engagement in Tunisia’s leasing sector.”
Chairman of the CIL Board and Managing Director Mohamed Brigui said: “We are delighted to enhance our partnership with the EBRD to further support MSMEs in Tunisia. Through this loan, we will aim to provide financing to a larger number of small businesses across the country.”
CIL is the country’s largest independent leasing company not affiliated with a bank. It is listed on the Tunisian stock exchange and majority-controlled by a group of local investors.
Since September 2012, when EBRD operations in Tunisia began, the Bank has invested €350 million across 25 projects in the country.