IFC invests in local micro-credit firm. Ameen aims to double its loan portfolio - Lebanon

IFC invests in local micro-credit firm
Ameen aims to double its loan portfolio
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Ameen, a local microfinance institution, will receive a $2 million loan from the World Bank’s Internation Finance Corporation (IFC). The loan will help the company expand its lending to micro, small, and medium businesses.

Ameen aims to double its loan portfolio to $34 million by 2016. “Entrepreneurs, especially women, lack access to financial services and loans,” said Ziad Halaby, General Manager of Ameen s.a.l. “The IFC’s investment will help us increase our coverage and provide financial services to a larger number of micro and small businesses throughout the country,” he said.

According to the IFC, Lebanon’s microfinance market is the smallest in the MENA region. Two-thirds of smaller businesses don’t have access to enough credit, with a total funding shortfall estimated at over $200 million. “Supporting micro and small businesses is the key to boosting economic growth in Lebanon,” said Thomas Jacobs, IFC country officer.

Ameen was the first microfinance institution to be registered with the Central Bank. Since its establishment, it has provided over 115,000 loans, valued at more than $176 million.
Reported by Hanadi Chami
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Date Posted: Nov 13, 2012