Finance Unlimited, the microfinance arm of Egyptian private equity firm Citadel Capital, has launched a lending company in partnership with Egyptian Gulf Bank.

The new company, Tanmeyah Micro Enterprise Services, opened 15 branches in July and issued loans worth £E8.1m ($1.5m) to 1,669 clients, mainly small businesses that need capital to grow.

The new branches in Cairo and the Nile Delta employ more than 200 people across seven of the country’s 29 governorates.

Tanmeyah plans to open 23 more branches and expand its portfolio of loans to £70m across 19,000 borrowers by the end of the year.

Loans range from £E1,000 to a maximum of £E30,000.

Citadel’s Finance Unlimited owns 51 per cent of Tanmeyah while Egyptian Gulf Bank holds 24.7 per cent.

The remaining 24.3 per cent is held by Tanmeyah’s management.