Emirates Development Bank (EDB) mobilised AED2.4 billion ($653 million) in loans to the UAE’s industrial sector in the first half (H1) of 2022, marking a 418 percent increase compared to the AED464 million approved from the launch of the Bank’s new strategy in 2021.
The surge in industrial financing has increased the Bank’s contribution to the UAE National GDP to AED1.9 billion as of H1 2022, a 356 percent increase on the AED425 million as of Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, reported Emirates News Agency WAM.
EDB held its Board meeting to review results of the first half of 2022 and monitor the progress of its new strategy which was launched in April 2021 to support the UAE’s industrial development, accelerate the adoption of advanced technologies, and empower the growth of SMEs.
The Board meeting was held for the first time in the Bank’s new headquarters in Abu Dhabi located in Mubadala Tower, and was attended by Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and Chairman of the EDB Board of Directors.
Among the principal achievements of the Bank which serves as one of the key financial engines for the UAE’s economic diversification and industrial growth agenda,
Fulfilling its commitment to financial inclusion and enhancing the bankability of SMEs, EDB was also able to mobilise AED351 million in capital in H1 2022 to support SMEs via its credit guarantee scheme, a 109 percent increase from the AED168 million deployed across 2021.
These efforts are supported by the delivery of the EDB’s digital solutions, including its new digital banking app, which enables SMEs and start-ups to kick-start their business by providing a business banking account and an IBAN number within 48 hours and then offering a comprehensive range of fast, secure, and round-the-clock banking services, including applying for and receiving finance.
During the meeting, the Board also discussed its outlook and plan for H2 2022 with key initiatives to deploy assets in vital sectors, as well as to further the digitisation agenda across the Bank.
The initiatives deployed by EDB are part of its new strategy to support the UAE’s industrial growth, adoption of advanced technology, enhancement of the role of SMEs and promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship through its tailored suite of products and services. According to EDB’s proprietary 'Developmental Impact Scorecard', which was created to ensure that the Bank’s financing is focused towards businesses and projects that maximise economic impact for the UAE, 66 percent of EDB’s transactions received a developmental score of at least 4 on a scale of 0-6, reflecting their positive contribution to the wider UAE economy and immense developmental impact.
"These results are a testament to the Bank’s progress towards supporting the UAE’s economic diversification agenda and increasing its global competitiveness. By expanding access to capital, the bank is helping develop a global hub for industry, advanced technology, and the industries of future. In the first half of 2022, we have been able to accelerate this mission and increase our contribution to national GDP by 356 percent compared to the entirety of 2021, underlining both the potential of the UAE industrial sector and the bank’s ability to mobilise finance to support it," Dr Al Jaber said.
Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, CEO of EDB, said: "We have witnessed tremendous progress during the first half of 2022. We have approved AED2.4 billion loans to the UAE’s industrial sector, which is five times the amount we approved during 2021, highlighting our commitment to the growth of the sector and the potential that it holds."
"Over the past period, we worked tirelessly to strengthen our capabilities partnerships, share our vision with industry leaders, and cement our role in driving the national economy to reach greater heights and consolidate its pioneering position. As we look forward to the remainder of this year, we remain committed to providing an all-encompassing business ecosystem for SMEs and startups, as well as redouble our efforts to deliver best-in-class solutions to a wider customer base," he added.
The Board also welcomed the news from S&P Global Ratings affirming an "AA-" credit rating with a "stable outlook".