Emirates Development Bank launches SME loans programme for UAE citizens

Emirates Development Bank (EDB) has formally launched its home and small and medium enterprises (SME) loans programmes for UAE citizens, six years after the bank’s official formation.

The Abu Dhabi bank, established with an authorised capital of Dh10 billion, will have an initial loan fund of Dh5bn to provide housing for Emirati citizens, as well as loans and financial service products for Emirati-owned SMEs.

The bank will also provide funding for projects in key sectors including health care, manufacturing, information and communication technology, and construction.

EDB plans to provide affordable housing finance for about 30,000 Emirati citizens, to either build or buy their own homes over the next six years.

The bank will also allocate Dh500 million towards a credit guarantee plan with other banks to be made available to Emirati SMEs and the owners of small businesses, in addition to Dh300m for SMEs.

Under the terms of the UAE’s SME Law, introduced in April of last year, EDB must ensure that at least 10 per cent of its loans are directed to SMEs.

“We are proud to be pioneering positive change in the UAE, partnering with the government to ensure the long-term success of our great nation,” said the bank’s acting chief executive Rashid Mahboob.

“We are excited about our future prospects, both supporting aspirational Emiratis and making a real positive difference in the economy.”

EDB was born out of a merger of Emirates Industrial Bank and Emirates Real Estate bank into one entity, a project first announced by the federal government in 2008. The project was formally approved by the UAE Cabinet in June 2009.

The stalled project was rebooted in October 2011, with the issuing of a federal law for the establishment of the bank. The bank signed an initial agreement with the Ministry of Finance last November, formally enabling it to provide housing loans for the UAE citizens.

The bank signed another agreement in March with Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme for the provision of banking and financing services to the programme’s customers, as well as developers and construction businesses involved in the development of residential properties.

EDB announced a partnership in April with the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee (TDC). Under the terms of the agreement, the bank will provide long-term support to TDC’s Takamul programme, launched in 2010, which provides a foundation for inventors to develop an original idea and move it towards a commercial application.

jeverington@thenational.ae

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