Doha Bank sets $1.5bn to fund Emirati SMEs
Dubai, May 22, 2013
Doha Bank, a leading Gulf-based lender, has earmarked Dh5.5 billion ($1.5 billion) to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and corporate clients in the UAE through its fully licenced branches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai besides offering support for companies in the infrastructure development and construction sectors.
Announcing this at a conference in Dubai, Doha Bank Group CEO Dr R Seetharaman said the Qatari lender is keen to participate in the resurgence of the UAE which is building its commercial economic platforms at a steady pace after the property market bubble which impacted the country.
Dr Seetharaman revealed that the bank has set aside $12 billion for lending to high-potential clients in the GCC region between Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait, where the bank operates full branches.
"Our outlook is based on the UAE now firmly being on a recovery trend, post the financial crisis, and particularly after the consolidation of the property market. Indicators clearly show that general market confidence is slowly returning," said the Qatari bank chief at the seminar hosted under the title “Real Estate, Infrastructure and Urban Visions.”
He pointed out that the consumer confidence was showing positive trends and the UAE indicators on tourism, services, industry, projects and city infrastructure were returning to significant levels. Both people and institutions were benefiting from increased financial stability, he stated.
"Expatriates and investors are starting to look at the UAE again as a key destination. All these factors combine to stimulate the core SME platform," he added.
Citing the Dubai Department of Economic Development report, Dr Seetharaman said in the first quarter, there had been a total of 26,577 commercial licence renewals besides 4.032 new applications in the emirate alone.
"With Abu Dhabi being one of the leading current destinations in the region for foreign investment, we expect new commercial licensing figures in Abu Dhabi to be along the same proportions against existing businesses," said the Doha Bank chief.
"Based on trends in the UAE, a large proportion of these entities can be considered SMEs vying for market share in this highly competitive environment and seeking advanced partnerships with banks and groups of advisers,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service