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Financial Services

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The   National  Bank  of   Ethiopia  (NBE)  is  the   central  bank  of   the   country. Commercial banking functions are  performed by  the  state-owned Commercial Bank  of  Ethiopia (CBE) and a number of  private banks. The CBE and private commercial  banks   offer   savings   and  checking  accounts, short-term loans, foreign-exchange transactions and mail and cable money transfer services. They also  participate in equity investments, provide guarantees and  perform other commercial banking activities.

The number of banks  operating in the  country reached fourteen (three  of them government-owned and the   rest  private)  in  2007/08.   These  include the   two specialized state-owned banks, i.e. the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) and the  Construction and Business Bank (CBB). The DBE, with  its 32 branches, extends short-, medium-  and long-term loans  to  viable development projects including industrial and agricultural projects.

The CBB, with  its 27 branches, provides long-term loans  for  the  construction of plants producing housing construction materials and the  construction of private schools, clinics, hospitals, and real estate development. Private banks  operating in the  capital and other major cities  are: Awash,  Dashen,  Abyssinya, Wegagen, United, Nib, Cooperative Bank of Oromiya, Lion, Buna, Zemen and Sirhan.

The number of insurance companies is ten  (one  is government-owned and the rest  private). Private insurance companies  existing  in  the  country are   Africa, Awash, Nice, United, Global, Nile, Nyala, Nib and Lion.

In addition to banks  and insurance companies, micro-finance institutions play an important role  in providing credit and saving facilities for micro-enterprises.

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