Gulf Finance plans to triple SMEs lending
Dubai, December 18, 2012
Gulf Finance Corporation, a subsidiary of Dubai-based Shuaa Capital, has lent more than a Dh1 billion ($272 million) to the small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UAE during the last three years and now aims to triple the amount over the next three years, said a senior official.
A leading UAE-based boutique finance company, Gulf Finance focuses entirely on the needs of SMEs in the power, oil and gas, healthcare, manufacturing and logistics sector.
Announcing its new lending plans, Steve Williams, the Group CEO said, "The SMEs market requires more than Dh6 billion worth of new credit in 2013. We at Gulf Finance aim to fulfil more than 10 per cent of that credit requirement."
According to him, the private SMEs typically account for over 95 per cent of all businesses. They also constitute a major source of employment and generate significant domestic and export earnings in transition and developing countries, he stated.
Willaims lauded the UAE’s Cabinet for its approval of a law pertaining to SMEs last week. The law stipulated that all institutions, companies and agencies that the government holds a 50 per cent stake of, or more, shall allocate 5 per cent of their budget for goods and services, to SMEs that are offering competitive pricing and quality.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), SMEs contribute to over 55 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 65 per cent of total employment in high-income countries.
SMEs and informal enterprises account for over 60 per cent of GDP and over 70 per cent of total employment in low-income countries, while they contribute over 95 per cent of total employment and about 7 per cent of GDP in middle-income countries.
"Improved SME competitiveness could obviously contribute to economic and social development. This timely law will help hone the entrepreneurial skills of the country’s local talent and support the growth and nationalisation of the private sector in the UAE,” he observed.
""Gulf Finance is able to deploy funding that we obtain from Shuaa Capital and our banking partners who share our interest in developing the SME economy, and we do that effectively due to our focus on sustainable sectors that contribute significantly to the growth and development of the UAE," he added.-TradeArabia News Service