For Immediate Release Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C)

Expanding Financial Inclusion in Tunisia: Citi Announces $10 Million Loan to Support 17,000 Micro-entrepreneurs

September 30, 2019


New loan facility enables Enda Tamweel, the largest microfinance institution in Tunisia

Tunis, Tunisia – Citi announced today the launch of a $10 million loan guarantee facility, in Tunisian Dinar, which will enable Enda Tamweel, the largest microfinance institution in Tunisia, to provide growth financing in local currency to more than 17,000 micro-entrepreneurs, approximately 65 percent of which are women. The loan will increase the number of Enda's borrowers by 5 percent.

Enda Tamweel is a non-banking financial institution (NBFI) founded to advance the financial and social inclusion of vulnerable populations in Tunisia, namely women and young entrepreneurs living in rural areas. In Tunisia, 17 percent fewer women have a bank account than their male counterparts. Lower-income households across the country also have less access, with a gap of 26 percent between higher income and lower income individuals.

With Citi's support, Enda Tamweel will be able to reach 17,000 more micro-entrepreneurs that specialize in small-scale agriculture, livestock farming and small businesses that aim to protect the environment. These loans help meet the unique needs of women and young entrepreneurs who have historically been excluded from the formal economy.

"Despite the presence of six micro-credit providers in Tunisia now, the unserved market remains large, estimated at a million financially excluded poor people. For its part, Enda has expended its active client by 10 percent yearly for the past five years. For this, we constantly need new capital. The Citi loan will enable us to maintain this growth rate in the future. And since we have a repayment rate well over 95 percent the money will be recycled well into the future," said Essma Ben Hamida Co-founder of Enda Tamweel.

With a portfolio exceeding 650 million Tunisian dinars and a twenty-year history as a microfinance pioneer, Enda Tamweel (formerly Enda) has transformed the microfinance industry in Tunisia. The organization provides sustainable financial services that enable women and young entrepreneurs to achieve greater financial independence and resilience. Serving 370,000 micro entrepreneurs nationally, Enda Tamweel maintains approximately 80 percent of the market share of all microfinance in Tunisia through its network of 93 branches across the country and more than 1,700 employees.

''We are expanding our Inclusive Finance programs for the first time in Tunisia through this new loan facility. We are proud to be able to support Enda's efforts and encourage small businesses to develop and grow. Citi is recognized worldwide for its long-time leadership in this area and we believe that we have the fundamental responsibility to help expand financial inclusion institutions in our country," said Haykel Belhassine, Citi Country Head and General Manager of Citibank in Tunisia.

"This transaction is a first for Citi in Tunisia and in the Maghreb and fits in well with Citi's global strategy of promoting wider financial inclusion by supporting micro finance institutions. Enda Tamweel has been a pioneer and a leader in the field of micro finance in Tunisia and we are proud to be able to contribute to its continued growth," said Ramz Hamzaoui, North Africa Sub Cluster Head and Citi Algeria Country Officer.

The new $10 million transaction is part of the Global Inclusive Finance Framework, an innovative public-private partnership between Citi and the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) which enables inclusive businesses and local microfinance institutions in emerging markets to extend microloans to borrowers in need of support. OPIC is providing an investment guaranty for this project. Under the Citi/OPIC partnership, Citi country businesses, Citi Inclusive Finance and the Institutional Clients Group's Export Agency Finance Group have funded $505.5 million in debt capital to 53 inclusive businesses across 26 countries, helping to catalyse the efforts of over 1.37 million micro entrepreneurs, 87 percent of whom are women.

"Just over one in three adults (37 percent) in Tunisia have a bank account, meaning that the majority of the population is excluded from the financial mainstream and from vital pathways to increase their financial opportunity," said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Inclusive Finance and Community Development. "At Citi, we aim to harness our global footprint and innovative partnership with OPIC and Enda Tamweel to work toward closing the access gap in Tunisia and meet the needs of underserved households."

All of Enda Tamweel's loans are extended to micro-entrepreneurs, approximately 65 percent of which are women. Enda Tamweel offers small business development loans that are individual in nature, and range from approximately US$200 to $6,500, with an average overall loan size of US$565 across its borrower base.

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

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Enda Tamweel
Created by the international non-governmental organization Enda inter-arabe, a pioneer of the microfinance sector in Tunisia, with 370,000 active customers and a portfolio exceeding 650 million dinars, Enda Tamweel currently covers 80 percent of the Tunisian micro-finance market.

Ensuring the financial inclusion of vulnerable populations, focusing on women, youth and rural populations. By promoting self-employment through the promotion of entrepreneurship, Enda Tamweel makes a strong contribution to the country's economic development. It helps a large number of young people and women to earn their living through their own efforts and to regain their dignity. For more information, please visit:

Media Contact:
Hasna Boufkiri, +212661177676,

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