New Dhs500m SME Fund In UAE

The fund, launched by NBAD and Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, targets Emirati entrepreneurs.

The Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED) and National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) plan to launch a Dhs500 million private equity fund in the UAE.

The Imtiyaz SME Development Fund aims to encourage Emirati entrepreneurship and provide equity financing to new small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and fast-growing existing SMEs, said a statement.

The fund will have an initial equity size of Dhs80 million with matching commitments from KFED and NBAD.

“The fund expects strong support from major government related entities, large corporations and institutional investors,” said the statement.

The growing SME sector in the UAE is starting to attract a lot of investor interest.

Last week, UK lender HSBC Holdings launched a Dhs1 billion SME fund in the UAE, its third such fund in the country.

“We saw a double-digit loan growth in 2011 to SMEs and we have a similar target in 2012,” Nicholas Levitt, head of commercial banking UAE, corporate and business told reporters.

At least 30 per cent of HSBC’s new International Trade SME Fund will be allocated to Emirati-owned businesses.

HSBC’s exposure to the SME sector in the UAE was over $600 million at the end of last year.