Dubai-based investment bank Shuaa Capital announced that it has launched a new Sharia compliant installment and lease financing company in Saudi Arabia.
The Gulf Installments Company will focus on providing services to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Kingdom across a range of business sectors, Shuaa said in a statement.
Shuaa’s UAE-based SME subsidiary, Gulf Finance Corporation, will operate the new company’s assets under a management contract.
Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Al Maktoum, executive chairman of Shuaa and chairman of Gulf Finance said: “This is an important strategic milestone for our credit business that we announced in October 2012, and represents an enormous opportunity for Shuaa to build out a successful business in the largest regional economy.
“Our investment in Gulf Installments is an investment in the success story of Saudi Arabia, and underscores our confidence in the growing private sector in the Kingdom,” he added.
SMEs in the Kingdom currently account for 90 per cent of Saudi businesses and 24.7 per cent of total employment, but represent only two per cent of the Saudi banks’ lending market, Shuaa said.
“Gulf Installments aims to finance SMEs across a variety of sectors, from contracting and construction, to healthcare and education; whether they need to establish their business or expand it by purchasing assets such as heavy plant and machinery, medical equipment, or contracting and constructing equipment,” David Hunt, the CEO of Gulf Installments said in the statement.
“Our installment and lease financing solutions offer an alternate source of funding to existing bank facilities, provide increased affordability and purchasing power, and allow our customers to enjoy long term stability for asset purchases. Furthermore, they release working capital and improve cash flow for businesses.”
Gulf Installments will offer lease financing for between one to four years, depending on the client needs. Alliances have already been negotiated with two of the top five heavy equipment vendors in the Kingdom.
Gulf Installments is based in Jeddah and will be expanding across the Kingdom over the course of the next few years, the statement added.