Posted on May 30, 2015

Khalid Abdulla Al Mana, Executive Director of Business Finance at Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and Yousef Mahmoud Al-Neama, General Manager Group Corporate and Institution Banking for Qatar National Bank (QNB), on Sunday signed a new Al Dhameen programme portfolio agreement sponsored by QDB, enabling further expansion of SME financing in Qatar.

From QDB, Hamad Al-Kubaisi, Executive Director of Strategy and Business Development and Ms. Jawaher Humaid Al Noaimi, Al Dhameen Manager, also attended the ceremony. From QNB, the signing was attended by Hamad Hassan Al-Jamali, Acting AGM, SME, SME Banking; Mr. Wisam Matouk, Acting Head of Sales and Relationship Management, SME Banking; and Mr. Dimitros Criticos, Head of Products & External Relations, SME Banking.

The new product "Al Dhameen portfolio", is a QR100m portfolio aimed at facilitating and speeding up approvals to guaranty the value of the funding provided by the partner bank to small and medium enterprises lacking sufficient guarantees. QDB has prepared a special portfolio guide that describes the terms, conditions, highest international standards, due diligence, credit monitoring, applications and guidelines development, to help QNB to take the necessary decisions without referring to the QDB. Developing the program content took nearly two years of close cooperation between QDB and partner banks to cater to all needs and increase transparency.

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On this occasion, Khalid Abdulla Al Mana of QDB said: "Al Dhameen is a primary program for ensuring Qatari SMEs can overcome having a short credit history and other obstacles they face. Al Dhameen additionally serves a strategic purpose – boosting lending to sectors of great importance to the national economy including industrial manufacturing, education, health and value-added professional services. We are mainly targeting start-ups and therefore delighted to sign this agreement with QNB – a strong partner committed to developing SMEs and the wider private sector alongside Al Dhameen’s powerful network of banks across Qatar.”

Yousef Mahmoud Al-Neama, General Manager Group Corporate and Institution Banking of QNB said: "We at QNB are proud to be the first bank in Qatar to jointhe Al Dhameen program back in 2013. Today we are proud to be the first conventional bank to sign onto Al Dhameen’s new portfolio agreement as we continue our work funding new and existing companies that want to grow their business. The rapid growth of our country and economy creates more opportunities for start-ups and enables them to meet the growing needs of the market. In addition, we are pleased by the presence of strategic new sectors, which QDB supports, and we look forward to meeting the financing needs of SMEs in those sectors. We welcome the new Al Dhameen portfolio, which takes into account the important need of processing funding requests as rapidly as possible.”

SMEs can benefit from the new program by visiting their nearest QNB branch and inquiring about applications in accordance with the QDB program.

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In enhancing and improving the Al-Dhameen program, QDB relied on the survey of partner banks and all concerned parties to expand the base of beneficiaries and allow the partner banks to determine the appropriate small and medium enterprises to be financed and to fund them more flexibly. Al-Dhameen program continued its distinguished contribution to the enhancement and diversification of the national economy and achieved the highest rates since it was launched in 2010 as the bank agreed to provide bank guarantees estimated at more than QR 573 million for more than 212 small and medium enterprises. QR 363 million of these guarantees were cashed.

This is the second such agreement signed this month, with International Islamic (QIIB) having signed onto QDB’s new Al Dhameen portfolio one week prior. Qatar Development Bank is committed to working to advance the economic ambitions of Qatar’s National Vision 2030, ensuring Qatari SMEs are partners in and beneficiaries of the country’s remarkable economic journey and growth.

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