Bahrain bank to offer $13m loans for Bahrain SMEs

Funding programme is part of Tamkeen initiative to drive growth of SMEs

A Bahrain-based Islamic bank has partnered with government body Tamkeen to launch a package of funding for small-to-medium-enterprises (SMEs).

Ithmaar Bank and Tamkeen’s joint financing scheme will seek to provide up to BD500,000 ($13.2 million) to eligible private sector businesses to help spur their growth.

The announcement follows an agreement between the two organisations earlier this year to put BD10 million into an enterprise finance portfolio for SMEs.

It is part of Tamkeen’s broader national scheme that, to date, has provided a total of BD412.5 million to more than 6,000 SMEs via a range of different banks.

Ithmaar Bank said it was the first bank in Bahrain to offer SME financing with the Tamkeen economic development agency in 2007, and this scheme is the latest joint initiative to drive the development of the private sector in Bahrain as it emerges from the global recession.

Ithmaar’s loan programme offers SMEs amounts of up to BD500,000 at a subsidised profit rate, a repayment option of up to 10 years and grace periods of between one month and two years. It also offers flexible payment options, including monthly, quarterly or semi-annual payments, the bank said.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, chairman and acting CEO of Tamkeen, said: “Through its various programmes, Tamkeen seeks to help enterprises achieve their developmental goals and provide them with opportunities for expansion and growth.

“This includes financing solutions that make it easier for these enterprises to succeed in their ventures and projects.”

Ithmaar Bank CEO Ahmed Abdul Rahim added: “The enterprise finance scheme provides the foundation and engine for growth of business and the economy.

“This is part of the Bank's efforts to open new prospects for enterprises to achieve sustainability and growth, diversify their businesses, expand their customer bases, and build a solid foundation for future development.”

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