KFED, NBAD launch SME financing fund
Abu Dhabi, May 20, 2012
Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED) and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) plan to launch a private equity fund aimed at financing promising new Emirati small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) or fast-growing existing SMEs.
Michael Tomalin, group chief executive of NBAD and Abdullah Al Darmaki, chief executive officer of KFED, have signed a memorandum of understanding at the NBAD head office to jointly establish the Imtiyaz SME Development Fund.
The fund will have an initial equity size of Dh80 million ($218 million) with matching commitments from KFED and NBAD. The size of the Fund is expected to reach Dh500 million.
The Fund expects strong support from major government related entities, large corporations and institutional investors. The support would involve providing or enabling viable investment opportunities and/or contributing capital to the fund.
“Our partnership with NBAD to launch the Imtiyaz SME Development Fund will build on KFED’s commitment towards promoting Emirati entrepreneurial activity, encouraging economic diversification and creating a favorable financing and investment environment for SMEs,” said Al Darmaki.
“We will develop the Imtiyaz Fund by building and expanding our public and private partnerships and the priority will be given to businesses that contribute to technology and knowledge transfer to the local market.”
“NBAD is an active supporter of SMEs in the country. This joint initiative with KFED reflects our continued commitment to further empower Emirati entrepreneurs and enable faster development of the SME sector in the UAE, a sector expected to become a key driver of innovation and economic growth” said Tomalin.
Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development launched its operations in 2007 to promote entrepreneurial activity and empower the nation's business talent. KFED trains potential entrepreneurs, provides soft loans and ongoing support during the set-up and operation of SMEs.
The Direct Investment Unit in KFED along with NBAD’s Private Equity practice will look after the operation of the Imtiyaz Fund. – TradeArabia News Service