CBE New Regulations in Support of SMEs
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) issued a circular on 5 March 2017 (Circular) to unify
the definition of SMEs as well as to enhance their access to loans.
The Circular defines small enterprises as those enterprises with business volume
starting from EGP 1,000,000 up to EGP 50,000,000. The Circular deleted the definition
of the ‘very small enterprises’ and merged it into the definition of the ‘small
enterprises’. Under an earlier circular (dated 7 December 2015) CBE defined very
small enterprises as those with business volume from EGP 1,000,000 up to EGP
10,000,000. Whereas, small enterprises were defined as those with business volume
starting from EGP 10,000,000 up to EGP 20,000,000.
On the other side, medium enterprises are defined under the new Circular as those
enterprises with business volume from EGP 50,000,000 up to EGP 200,000,000. They
were previously defined as those with volume from EGP 20,000,000 to EGP
The CBE announced earlier in its circular dated 22 February 2016 an initiative to
support and grant medium and long-term loans to medium enterprises working in the
industry and agriculture sectors.
The Circular comes to extent the scope of the industry sector to cover medium
enterprises working in the new and renewable energy. It furthermore increased the
maximum amount an enterprise working in the industry sector is allowed to borrow to
be EGP 40,000,000 instead of EGP 20,000,000.