Banque Misr, Egypt’s second-largest bank, has mandated Citigroup to arrange a $500 million syndicated loan, banking sources said, the latest sign of a pickup in interest among international banks in lending to Egyptian borrowers.

Misr’s debt facility follows a $600 million loan being syndicated among banks for National Bank of Egypt, the country’s largest lender. Other deals in the Egyptian bank market include a loan of up to around $700 million for Egyptian Electricity Holding Company and three loans recently raised by Telecom Egypt with a combined value of around $900 million. Such loans are being seen as a sign of returning confidence among international lenders in the Egyptian economy, where business conditions are slowly improving under a three-year IMF loan programme tied to fiscal and economic reforms.