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ESFD guaranteed 127 loans in Lebanon in first quarter of 2016

BEIRUT | iloubnan.info - April 29, 2016, 19h00

The Economic & Social Fund for Development (ESFD) indicated that it guaranteed 127 loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises for a total of LBP3.7bn, or $2.45m, in the first quarter of 2016 through a network of commercial banks, reported Byblos Bank's Lebanon This Week.

The total number of loans guaranteed by the ESFD reached 8,951 for an aggregate value of LBP155.7bn, or $103.3m, between 2003 and March 2016.

The ESFD claims that it has helped create 6,835 new jobs since 2003. It added that it has guaranteed 3,467 loans, or 38.7% of the total, to the services sector, followed by the trade sector with 3,234 loans (36.1%), the industrial sector with 1,323 loans (14.8%) and the agricultural sector with 927 loans (10.4%). Mount Lebanon benefited from 28.2% of the total number of loans guaranteed by the ESFD, followed by Nabatieh (22.9%), the North (18%), the South (13.4%), the Bekaa (12.7%) and Beirut (4.9%).

The ESFD guarantees 50% of the loan principal and accrued interest for 120 days. It provides financial and technical support to small- and medium-sized enterprises, through financial intermediaries, to finance projects in poor regions of the country. The ESFD was established in November 2000 upon the signing of a financing agreement between the European Commission and the Lebanese government through the Council for Development & Reconstruction. The ESFD is funded by the European Union and the Lebanese government.

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