Arab African International Bank - Sandah

Mr. Bassel Rahmy, CEO and Managing Director of Sandah remarked: “Sandah lands in the Egyptian market with a completely different set of strategies and tactics. From turnaround time and digitization to customer centricity and socio-economic development focus; Sandah’s vision is set on becoming the foremost and preferred microfinance destination in Egypt offering comprehensive financial solutions at the micro level. This would be carried out through the provision of value services to the productive, under-privileged, low-income and economically challenged population to improve their social influence and financial standards.” He also added: In order for Sandah to be able to fulfill the promise of its role and play part in the new ecosystem for financial inclusion, it must face the challenges of meeting evolving customer expectations and needs, by incorporating digitization and partnering with other actors in the ecosystem.” Moreover, Rahmy added: "This presents tremendous opportunities for Sandah to raise efficiency, lower transaction costs and clients, and expand outreach to new markets and segments.” The company is poised to be the fastest in terms of providing credit. Notwithstanding, there will be three areas that will witness innovation: in products development, distribution channels and back-office operations.

Arab African International Bank - Sandah

SANAD Board Vice Chairman MR. Klaus Maurer commented, We are proud to support the launch of Egypt’s first internationally backed microfinance company. Egypt is one of our key markets with huge expansion potential, and we are deeply vested in its economic development. Sandah – with its focus on MVSEs – is optimally suited to expand and strengthen financial access throughout the country, particularly in rural and underserved regions.

Arab African International Bank - Sandah

Hassan Abdalla, CEO of AAIB and Sandah, commented: “The Arab African International Bank finds pride in establishing “Sandah” - a specialized microfinance company and the latest addition to its subsidiaries – with the objective of contributing to Egypt’s balanced economic growth.

Abdalla added: Over half a century, AAIB accomplished a distinctive record in financing large corporates in Egypt and the region. At this stage of Egypt’s development and given the evolving, dynamic socio-economic landscape, the bank is keen to penetrate the microfinance sector to empower the disenfranchised segments and help advance inclusive growth. Today, the number of MSMEs in Egypt exceeds 6.5M with a credit gap of USD 10BN; this situation urges the collaboration of the financial institutions to provide the necessary finance to develop the microfinance sector. Launching “ Sandah” comes in context of the bank's commitment to implement sustainable development, which ensures the concurrent development of the economy, the society and the environment.

Arab African International Bank - Sandah

AAIB celebrates the launch of “Sandah”

The first microfinance company

Established by a bank in Egypt.

Egypt’s newest microfinance lending institution, “Sandah” microfinance company, was launched in Cairo on May 8, 2018. At a press conference, its main founding shareholders; the Arab African International Bank (AAIB) and Sanad Fund for MSME (SANAD) celebrated the launch of Egypt’s newest microfinance company. The ceremony was attended by Hassan Abdalla, the CEO of AAIB, Mr.Klaus Maurer, SANAD Board Vice Chairman, and Bassel Rahmy, the CEO and Managing Director of Sandah.

Sanad Fund’s expansion in the Egyptian market is a testament of the international financial institutions’ confidence in the country’s economy. AAIB was selected to enact the partnership, being one of the top private banks in Egypt.

The move makes AAIB the only and first bank to have full-fledged on-the-ground microfinance operations through a standalone subsidiary. “Sandah” aims at facilitating financial inclusion to accommodate the low-income disenfranchised segments in the Egyptian governorates from Delta to Upper Egypt. The new microfinance company operates under the supervision of the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority “EFRA” enacting the new Egyptian microfinance law No. 141 of 2014, which governs Microfinance services in Egypt.

AAIB as well as its subsidiaries and SANAD, with respective shares of 70% and 30%, have pooled their expertise to achieve Sandah’s vision in advancing microfinance in Egypt and redefining customer experience in this respect. The company will finance commercial, agricultural, industrial and service sectors categorically all across Egypt.

About the SANAD Fund for MSME

Established in 2011, the SANAD Fund for MSME finances micro, small and medium enterprises and low-income households in the Middle East and North Africa via qualified local lenders. SANAD thereby fosters economic development and job creation – including youth employment – agriculture, affordable housing, and innovations in finance and financial technologies. SANAD strives to meet these goals by providing debt and equity financing to its local partners. The SANAD Technical Assistance Facility multiplies the fund’s development impact and outreach through capacity-building with partner institutions, developing financial infrastructures according to the principles of responsible finance and conducting much required R&D. SANAD’s investors include the KfW Development Bank, which initiated the fund; the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); the European Union; Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO); OeEB, the Development Bank of Austria; Germany’s GLS Bank and GLS Treuhand; and the Dutch development bank FMO. A public-private partnership, the fund is advised by Finance in Motion GmbH, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. For more information, please visit:

About the Arab African International Bank

Established in 1964 with solid shareholders - the Central Bank of Egypt and Kuwait Investment Authority- AAIB spans over half a century of distinguished corporate and investment services. AAIB is Egypt's private-sector bank with a full-fledged presence in the Gulf Region. AAIB is regarded as one of the industry’s Domestic Systemically Important Banks (DSIbs). The Universal Lender “AAIB”, rounds out the top four banks in Egypt with $1.2BN in Tier 1 in 2018 by the Banker Magazine. Enacting its vision to become a leading financial group extending innovative services into the entire region; AAIB established six subsidiaries; Arab African Investment Holding (AAIH) including Arab African Investment Management (AAIM), Arab African International Securities (AAIS) as well as Arab African International Mortgage Finance (AAIMF) and Arab African International Leasing (AAIL) and Sandah. The establishment of which transformed AAIB from a bank to a financial group. A trendsetter in advancing sustainable finance in Egypt and in the MENA region, AAIB initiated MOSTADAM in 2014 the first forum in the MENA to instill sustainable finance and enact an industry movement towards this end.