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Tue 12 Jan 2010 02:28 AM

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HSBC agrees to support SMEs along with MoE

Bank launches $100m fund for UAE companies with turnover of less than $30m.

The UAE Ministry of Economy signed a memorandum of understanding with HSBC Middle East on Monday to support the international expansion of the country’s small and medium sized enterprises.

As part of the MoU, HSBC will launch a $100 million fund specifically for UAE companies engaged in cross border business, with a turnover of $30 million or less.

Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE minister of economy, said that the MoU reflects the confidence of international businesses in the UAE economy. He emphasised that the ministry would exert strong efforts to further energise small and medium businesses.

He said: “The ministry is working on a national plan to drive economic development by enhancing the role of SMEs in coordination with concerned government departments in the UAE.”

The UAE fund is part of HSBC’s strategy to support internationally focused SMEs, by ensuring that they have access to appropriate credit to enable them to grow and conduct business internationally.

The bank says that funds will be lent to SME’s that need working capital finance for international expansion. It also said that higher priority will be given to Emirati owned businesses.

Simon Cooper, deputy chairman and CEO of HSBC Middle East, said: “...launching our SME fund in the UAE underlines our longstanding commitment to this important sector.”

He added: “...this initiative demonstrates how the public and private sector can work together in partnership to support the business community in the UAE.”

The HSBC MoU is one of the latest signed by the Ministry of Economy as the federal government pushes to increase the number of high performing SMEs, which are a major contributor to the UAE’s GDP.

The UAE has been ranked amongst the top five countries in terms of support for SMEs. The others on the list are Britain, France, Singapore and Hong Kong.

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