MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fransabank Borrows $20m from Sanad for Rural SMEs, Poor Households in Lebanon

Fransabank SAL, a Beirut-based commercial bank with 124 branches in nine countries, recently received a loan of USD 20 million from the Sanad Fund for MSME (micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises), a European investor in North Africa and the Middle East. Fransabank plans to use the funds to expand its lending to rural SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and to increase its service provision to “low-income households.”

Adnan Kassar, the Chairman of Fransbank, said, “Supporting Lebanese enterprises and low-income individuals through improved access to long-term finance at favorable conditions falls within our core strategy to actively contribute to the increase of job creation and to the development of the private sector in Lebanon, which constitutes the backbone of the economy.”

Sanad was founded in 2011 and is domiciled in Luxembourg. An initiative of German development bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), it is funded by KfW, Germany’s GLS Bank and the EU, as well as development finance institutions of the Austrian, German and Swiss governments. Sanad invests in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Tunisia and Yemen with an emphasis on Egypt and Tunisia. As of 2016, the fund has raised total investor commitments of USD 186 million. It is advised by Germany’s Finance in Motion, which manages assets valued at EUR 1.6 billion (USD 1.7 billion) as of 2017.

Established in 1921, Fransabank provides retail, commercial, corporate, investment and international banking services. In addition to Lebanon, it operates in France, Algeria, Syria, Sudan, Cuba, Libya and Belarus. As of December 2016, Fransabank reported net annual profit of USD 201 million on total assets of USD 21 billion and shareholder equity of USD 2 billion.

By Aleks Marceau, Research Associate

Sources and additional information:

Sanad press release:

Sanad home page:

Fransabank home page:

Fransabank financial indicators 2016:

MicroCapital on Fransabank in Lebanon:

MicroCapital on Sanad in the Middle East and North Africa:

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