Electronic letters of credit (L/Cs) are an essential component in Attijariwafa Bank-Egypt's target to attract 70 new credit customers with loans exceeding 3 billion Egyptian pounds (E£3 billion - US$176 million) by the end of this year according to the bank's corporate banking director, Tamer Ragheb.

He says that the size of the bank's finance portfolio is currently E£11.4 billion (US$668 million) and that the bank aims to increase it to E£15 billion (US$880 million) by the end of 2019.

Ragheb reckons this steep 35 per cent growth forecast is realistic because it is in line with the 36 per cent growth in loans to large and medium-sized companies the bank achieved in 2018.

Prominent L/Cs

One of the most prominent services that will feature in the bank's growth strategy will be the issuance of electronic L/Cs through internet banking according to Ragheb, who explains why the bank is now able to offer this service.

"Since its entry into the Egyptian market in May 2017, Attijariwafa Bank-Egypt has been updating the bank's information systems and is currently updating its electronic payment systems in preparation for the introduction of a range of electronic payment systems by the end of this year," he said.

Target markets

Attijariwafa Bank-Egypt is active in the fast-moving consumer goods, healthcare and construction sectors and is looking to grow its customer base in the tourism sector.

The bank's growth strategy will particularly target medium-sized businesses according to Ragheb.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.