CAIRO, Egypt, China Development Bank (CDB), the largest Chinese bank for foreign investment and financing cooperation, signed two deals, to provide loans to Egypt’s two major financial institutions, SAIBANK and Banque Misr.

The deals were signed at a ceremony at Banque Misr headquarters in Cairo, which was attended by Chinese Ambassador to Egypt, Song Aiguo, and representatives from the Central Bank of Egypt.

The first deal included two loan agreements, under which the CDB will provide SAIBANK with a loan of 40 million U.S. dollars, for small- and medium-sized enterprises, and a special RMB denominated loan of 260 million yuan (40 million U.S. dollars), for infrastructure construction.

“The deal includes about 40 million dollars and their Chinese equivalent amount, to promote small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and create many job opportunities,” SAIBANK Vice Chairman, Hassan Abdel-Meguid, said.

He added that, it comes within the framework of Sino-Egyptian cooperation, in the light of the growing friendship and partnership between the two countries.

The second deal was a memorandum of understanding (MoU), signed between CDB and Banque Misr, in which CDB will provide the Egyptian bank with a loan in Chinese currency, for the first time.

“The loan amount is still being studied. Having the loan in the Chinese local currency will help provide loans to Chinese companies that operate or want to enter the Egyptian market in their own currency, which will encourage their investment in Egypt,” Banque Misr Vice Chairman, Akef Abdel-Latif al-Maghraby said.

Maghraby said, it’s important for China to have their own currency used outside China, noting, his bank has previously signed two loan agreements with the CDB that are worth 100 and 500 million dollars, respectively.

CDB Executive Vice President, Wang Yongsheng, who signed both deals with SAIBANK and Banque Misr, said, the agreements marked a big step forward for the internationalisation of the Chinese currency RMB, within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

CDB chose Egypt as the destination for its first overseas representative office, established in 2009, which is also the only Chinese financial institution in Egypt.

At the invitation of President Xi, Egyptian President, Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, took part in the summit of the BRICS economic bloc, which was held in Xiamen, China, on Sept 3-5.

“During the BRICS summit, President Xi and President Sisi vowed to enhance partnership in various fields, including financial cooperation,” Ambassador Song said.

“So, I am happy to witness the signing of the joint financial deals today, as the best example of what we can achieve, through cooperation between the two countries,” he added.