The value of Egypt’s microfinance portfolio reached EGP 13bn at the end of the first quarter (Q1) of 2018, compared to EGP 11.1bn at the beginning of 2018, an increase of 17%, according to a press statement from the Egyptian Microfinance Federation (EMF).
According to the EMF, the active customer base in the sector increased by 7.4% by the end of Q1 2018, to reach 2.7 million clients compared to 2.5 million at the beginning of 2018.
Women still represent 70% of the beneficiaries and receive 52% of the total active portfolio.
NGOs and associations are ranked first in terms of total financing and number of clients in the aforementioned period, with a total active portfolio of EGP 5.1bn and an active customer base of 1.7 million with an average loan value of EGP 2,900.
Meanwhile, companies are third in terms of total financing and second in terms of the number of active customers with a total active portfolio of EGP 3.3 bn and 643,000 active customers with an average loan value of EGP 5,000.
On the other hand, banks are second in terms of total direct financing and third place in terms of number of customers, with a total active portfolio of EGP 4.5bn and an active customer number of 312,000 customers, with an average loan value of EGP 15,000.
In March, Mona Zulficar, chairperson of the EMF, said that the value of Egypt’s microfinance portfolio reached EGP 11.12bn at the end of 2017, versus EGP 6.66bn in 2016.
She added previously that the active customer base in the sector increased by 26% in 2017 to reach 2.53 million clients compared to 2 million at the end of 2016.
According to the federation, the growth rate of the microfinance industry is expected to continue at the same pace in 2018/2019 to reach a total active portfolio of at least EGP 16bn at the end of 2019 and 4 million active customers.
It is also expected that by the end of 2019, that the number of companies practicing the microfinance industry will reach 10, compared with three companies that were practicing in the industry at the beginning of 2018.
This growth is supported by the issuance of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) regulations, to regulate the work of investment funds in the microfinance industry, which encourages the establishment of a number of investment funds directing their assets to invest in the microfinance industry.
Also helping the growth are the efforts of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to stimulate banks to provide funding to NGOs and companies engaged in microfinance activities.