HSBC launches $272m fund for UAE SMEs
Dubai, November 13, 2013
HSBC has launched its latest International Growth Fund, committing Dh1 billion ($272 million) to the UAE's international SMEs.
Previously known as the HSBC International SME Fund, the fund is open to new and existing customers with cross border trading requirements or aspire to grow internationally, and have an annual turnover of Dh30 million dirhams and above, said a statement.
Abdulfattah Sharaf, chief executive officer of HSBC Bank Middle East - UAE, said: "SMEs are critical to the UAE economy. They represent 95% of the total enterprises population in the UAE and contribute to 40% of total UAE GDP. At HSBC, we remain committed to the UAE and the businesses that support the country's economy. We continue to work extensively with relevant government authorities, freezones and key working groups to ensure that the segment flourishes and grows".
The fund is the fourth in HSBC's flagship programme. HSBC was the first bank in the UAE to launch a dedicated SME Fund back in 2010 of which 67 per cent was awarded to customers with requirements for international trade facilities. This was then followed by a second fund in 2011 - successfully allocated in half the time of the first and of which a healthy 87pc was allocated to internationally oriented SMEs. The third fund launched in 2012 was fully allocated in February this year and 84pc of the fund went to international SMEs, said the statement.
Confidence amongst the UAE SMEs that trade volumes will increase over the next six months is strongly positive. According to the bank's latest Trade Confidence Index report, the UAE's SMEs are the second most confident businesses in this regard globally. Intra-regional trade remains a majority of SMEs' (30pc) trade corridor of choice, with the UAE to China corridor coming in second (22pc). Turkey also stands out as a key bilateral trade partner with exports and imports between the two countries expected to continue to grow at high levels in the near term, the statement said.
HSBC research suggests that in the medium-to-long-term, the fastest growing export markets will be the emerging markets such as Vietnam, China, India, Malaysia and Indonesia. The Middle East, Turkey, Egypt and neighbouring Saudi Arabia will also become increasingly important sources of demand.
"We will see similar trends on the import side. Although advanced economies like the US and France are currently some of the fast-growing importers to the UAE, by 2030 they will have dropped out of the top 10, superseded by countries such as Vietnam, India and Malaysia," said the statement. - TradeArabia News Service