Posted on March 21, 2011

Qatar International Islamic (QIIB) on Monday signed an agreement with Qatar Development Bank (QDB) to provide financing to existing and new small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by guaranteeing bank lending under an innovative QDB scheme.

The agreement was signed by QIIB Chief Executive Officer, Abdulbasit A.Al-Shaibei and Qatar Development Bank CEO Mansoor bin Ibrahim Al-Mahmoud, according to a press release issued here today. The scheme - Al Dhameen - primarily targets small and medium enterprises with an annual revenue turnover of up to QR40mn. For new projects, the programme guarantees 85% of the facility, up to QR10mn.

For existing eligible SMEs, the programme guarantees 75% of the principal with the maximum financing available capped at QR8mn. The tenor for funding both new and existing SMEs has been fixed at 5 years for long-term and 1 year for short-term funding. QIIB Deputy CEO, Abdullah Al-Jamal, Deputy Manager (Banking Services), Mr Masoon Mohamed Al-Asfar and Manager, Marwan Abu Issa were among those present.

Al Dhameen is in line with the wise policies and guidance of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani to achieve Qatar National Vision 2030, which aims to transform the country into an advanced nation that is able to achieve sustainable development and ensure a high standard of living for its people for generations to come. The Al Dhameen programme has been designed to develop high-priority sectors, such as manufacturing and knowledge-based systems in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.

Highlighting QIIB’s commitment to the country’s small and medium scale enterprises, Chief Executive Officer, Abdulbasit A.Al-Shaibei said their role was very important in Qatar’s economic diversification and national development. Al-Shaibei said by participating in and supporting Al Dhameen, QIIB would have an opportunity to assist the largest segment of citizens who wished to launch small and medium scale enterprises.

Chief Executive Officer, Abdulbasit A.Al-Shaibei also complimented Qatar Development Bank for designing and launching the Al Dhameen project, which would help boost the country’s very important SME sector.

The programme is the result of extensive research and market studies conducted by Qatar Development Bank to assess obstacles and challenges being faced by the SME sector, taking into account the potential contribution of this segment to the overall economic growth and diversification.

For his part, Al-Mahmoud said the agreement was of particular significance as it represented the implementation of QDB’s strategy to support SMEs, which is key to shaping up the Qatari economy. He said QDB had conducted a comprehensive analysis of the constraints being faced by this sector.

The research identified financing as the main barrier to sustainable growth for SMEs. Based on these, QDB developed ‘Al Dhameen’, which covers a portion of banking sector exposure in the event of borrower default. The programme will also encourage banks in Qatar to expand their lending to the small and medium scale sector, especially to those SMEs that hold promise but are not in a position to leverage assets or furnish accounting records to secure these loans. SMEs on their part will be able to establish a credit history with banks and avail of credit facilities in future without significant guarantees.