Osama Al Mubarak
Role of Saudi banks key theme for SME forum
Jeddah, May 14, 2013
The vital role of Saudi banks is one of the main themes to be discussed at the upcoming Saudi International SME Forum in Riyadh.
The event is set to be held on May 28 and 29 at the Four Seasons Hotel.
Saudi banks are one the of main sources of financing for the kingdom’s SME sector and their highly important role has been significantly enhanced by success of the Kafalah program which was introduced by the Industrial Development Fund seven years ago.
The purpose of the Kafalah program is to provide a real and effective form of guarantee for those funding or lending to small and medium enterprises. The program’s success has resulted in the establishment an increased number of SMEs, which in turn has created new jobs and reduced unemployment in the kingdom.
The event is organized by the Saudi Industrial Development Fund–Kafalah program, and the Saudi Credit and Savings Bank, in collaboration with Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group.
The forum will discuss the implications of financial services provided for the SMEs sector and how best to implement them, in addition to reviewing appropriate funding programs offered by Saudi banks to support and develop the sector.
Osama bin Abdelrahman Al-Mubarak, chairman in charge of the program to finance SMEs, confirmed that since the start of the program in 2006 up the end of Q1, 2013, the program management has adopted 5,253 Kafalah contracts, out of which 3,159 beneficiaries were SMEs, with the total value amounting SR2.561 million ($682,700), compared to loans offered by banks participating in the program which is worth SR5.284 million.
Al-Mubarak pointed out that there is a tremendous interaction from participating banks as evidenced by the rise in the value of funding by banks, from SR1.283 million in 2011 to SR1.768 million in 2012, a 38 per cent increase.
NCB will be participating in the Saudi International SME Forum as a Diamond sponsor, stemming from the bank’s dedication to serving Saudi society and its commitment to supporting important economic activities and developing solutions to strengthen the financing methods for SMEs.
Riyad Bank has launched several programs to support and stimulate SME and provide the possibilities for the advancement of "emerging business” concept by providing financial solutions, and distinctive banking, financial, investment, and advisory services to the owners of these establishments.
Samba Financial Group is another sponsor of Saudi International SME Forum. An official of the Group, Khaled Al-Anezan, said that Samba’s in-depth experience in supporting small and medium enterprises helps in motivating the owners of SMEs to direct their objectives towards innovation in order to improve the performance of their businesses in accordance with the highest professional standards and professionalism.
More than 500 participants are expected to participate in the Saudi International SME Forum including ministers and senior government officials, specialized institutions, banks, and representatives of local and international companies, along with international experts in the SMEs sector, owners of SMEs and emerging young entrepreneurs. – TradeArabia News Service