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Thu 14 Nov 2019 02:04 PM

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New $190m fund to offer financing to UAE defence sector SMEs

Tawazun Strategic Development Fund has announced the launch of the AED700m Venture Debt Programme

New $190m fund to offer financing to UAE defence sector SMEs

TSDF, previously known as the Defence and Security Development Fund, is the investment arm of Tawazun Economic Council.

Tawazun Strategic Development Fund (TSDF) has announced the launch of a AED700 million ($190.5 million) Venture Debt Programme to provide local SMEs in the defence and security sector of the UAE with financial options to support expansion of their operations.

TSDF, previously known as the Defence and Security Development Fund, the investment arm of Tawazun Economic Council, said the programme has been set up in partnership with First Abu Dhabi Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai and National Bank of Fujairah.

Abdullah Nasser Al Jaabari, head of TSDF said: "The signing of these agreements reaffirms our dedication to empowering industries of strategic importance and driving economic value and diversification, in line with the UAE leaderships directives.

"Through the newly established Venture Debt Programme and these partnerships, we will have the opportunity to further support SMEs in the private sector to build industrial capabilities and innovative solutions, as well as contribute to enhancing self-reliance of the sector’s ecosystem in meeting the current and future challenges of the UAE’s strategic requirements."

He added: "As a start, we have an initial amount of AED700 million allocated for the programme... In addition, SMEs will also have access to supply chain finance for confirmed projects in the UAE, further empowering other pioneering local entities with local products, and thereby creating a more holistic manufacturing ecosystem."

The value of funding on offer to SMEs is between AED10-60 million, depending on the nature of the project.

Eligible companies should be at least 51 percent Emirati owned, with an annual turnover between AED10-250 million.

Companies must also be engaged in value added activities that support local manufacturing, enhances local supply chains, and enables capability development by hiring qualified UAE nationals.

The Venture Debt Programme offers SME loans with low collateral and low competitive rates, with low borrower contribution.

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