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Bahrain bank, UN body plan $50m fund for SMEs

Manama, September 10, 2013

Bahrain-based investment bank GBCORP and the United Nations Development Organisation (Unido) Bahrain have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see the setting up of a $50 million investment fund to support small businesses.

The fund will initially target small companies in the downstream aluminium sector, but the move is seen as signalling further developments to improve the Bahrain economy, according to a report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

It will target sectors important to Bahrain's development including promoting investment in a number of productive sectors namely industry, tourism, food security, green technology and health and wellness.

Unido Bahrain is to provide a forum to exchange and share investment opportunities in Bahrain and the region, introduce GBCORP to potential investors and technology providers regionally and internationally and create linkages with strategic partners for promoting investment and technology tie-ups.

It will also provide support, as required, for the smooth development and appraisal of investment opportunities and technology offers.

The agreement was signed by Unido Bahrain chief Dr Hashim Hussein and GBCORP chief executive Dr Zakariya Hijris.

GBCORP is to assess the investment opportunities and technology offers submitted by Unido and decide on which business opportunity to proceed; introduce strategic investors to the business opportunities.

"We will target the aluminium sector to start with as this is a highly productive sector but there are other areas we can look at for the benefit of the Bahrain economy," said Dr Hijris.

Dr Hussein said this move is a first-of-its-kind in the region and we will be talking with other financial institutions to bring them on board. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | GBCorp | Unido | SME fund |

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