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HSBC Launches One Billion Dirham International Growth Fund
(13 November 2013)


HSBC today announces that it has launched its latest International Growth Fund, committing 1 billion dirhams to the UAE’s International SMEs. Previously known as the HSBC International SME Fund, the Fund is open to new and existing customers with cross border trading requirements or aspire to grow internationally, and have an annual turnover of 30 million dirhams and above.

Announcing the launch, Abdulfattah Sharaf, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Bank Middle East Limited - UAE said: "Today we are delighted to announce the launch of the HSBC International Growth Fund worth 1 billion dirhams. SMEs are critical to the UAE economy. They represent 95% of the total enterprises population in the UAE and contribute to 40% of total UAE GDP. At HSBC, we remain committed to the UAE and the businesses that support the country’s economy. We continue to work extensively with relevant government authorities, freezones and key working groups to ensure that the segment flourishes and grows".

The International Growth Fund is the fourth in HSBC’s flagship programme. HSBC was the first bank in the UAE to launch a dedicated SME Fund back in 2010 of which 67% was awarded to customers with requirements for international trade facilities. This was then followed by a second Fund in 2011 - successfully allocated in half the time of the first and of which a healthy 87% was allocated to internationally oriented SMEs. The third Fund launched in 2012 was fully allocated in February this year. 84% of the Fund went to international SMEs.

Confidence amongst the UAE SMEs that trade volumes will increase over the next six months is strongly positive. According to our latest Trade Confidence Index report, the UAE’s SMEs are the second most confident businesses in this regard globally. Intra-regional trade remains a majority of SMEs’ (30%) trade corridor of choice, with the UAE to China corridor coming in second (22%). Turkey also stands out as a key bilateral trade partner with exports and imports between the two countries expected to continue to grow at high levels in the near term.

The focus towards the broader Middle East region and the Emerging Markets is echoed by the wider UAE economy. HSBC research suggests that in the medium-to-long-term, the fastest growing exports will be to emerging markets with the likes of Vietnam, China, India, Malaysia and Indonesia expanding their share of UAE exports. The Middle East, Turkey, Egypt and neighbouring Saudi Arabia will also become increasingly important sources of demand.

We will see similar trends on the import side. Although advanced economies like the USA and France are currently some of the fast-growing importers to the UAE, by 2030 they will have dropped out of the top 10, superseded by countries such as Vietnam, India and Malaysia.

Chaker Zeraiki, Head of Business Banking, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited - UAE added: "It is clear that businesses, large and small, are positioning themselves to make the most of international opportunities - taking advantage of international trading corridors - in order to grow and succeed. In addition to the already extensive government spend; these opportunities will also increase in the event that the UAE (Dubai) is awarded Expo 2020. The Middle East is an historic trading hub for East to West trade flows, and with the centre of the economic world progressively moving east - these ’trade corridors’ have emerged even stronger than ever.

"We believe that international SME’s will truly benefit from the International Growth Fund in this regard. We look forward to speaking to new and our existing customers in the coming days on how we can help them achieve their strategic goals to expand internationally."

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