EDB financing increased nearly eightfold to $1.6bn in 2022

The amount contributed $953m to the UAE's non-oil GDP and supported more than 12,000 industrial jobs, the lender said

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 11 OCTOBER 2020. Emirates Development Bank in Garhoud. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: None. Section: National.
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Emirates Development Bank, the state-owned lender focused on financing the UAE's priority sectors, approved Dh6.1 billion ($1.66 billion) in financing in 2022 to boost the country's industrial growth.

The funding marked an increase of nearly eight times on an annual basis, the bank said on Wednesday.

A total of Dh1.8 billion in loans was approved to small and medium enterprises last year, representing an increase of 387 per cent year on year.

This included Dh1.2 billion in direct financing and Dh611 million in indirect financing through EDB’s credit guarantee programme with partner commercial banks.

Loans disbursed through the EDB micro-lending platform powered by Beehive stood at more than Dh100 million.

The platform allows SMEs to apply for loans of up to Dh5 million — directly through its business banking app — and receive approval or feedback within five days.

Meanwhile, loans approved for large corporates surged to Dh4.3 billion as part of efforts to support the UAE’s “national priority sectors with large projects in key areas”, including data centres, desalination plants, transport, hospitals, manufacturers and specialised logistics, the bank said.

EDB's financing activities in 2022 contributed Dh3.5 billion to the UAE's non-oil gross domestic product and supported the creation of more than 12,000 industrial jobs, it said.

“Emirates Development Bank plays a pivotal role in supporting the national industrial sector by facilitating the adoption of advanced technology, enabling the growth of SMEs and cultivating an ecosystem for innovation,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and chairman of EDB.

“This is in line with the national developmental goals of the UAE to ensure sustainable growth and diversification of the economy.”

EDB will continue to play a “strategic role in supporting the industrialisation and development of a sustainable and knowledge-based economy for the UAE”, he said.

As part of its economic diversification, the UAE is focusing heavily on boosting its local industrial sector.

In 2021, the country launched the Operation 300bn strategy, which seeks to position the Arab world’s second-largest economy as a global industrial centre by 2031.

The 10-year plan focuses on increasing the industrial sector's contribution to the country's GDP to Dh300 billion by 2031, from Dh133 billion in 2021.

The strategy seeks to boost production in 11 priority sectors, support the growth of national industries, attract foreign investment and ensure the availability of dedicated financing for local industrial companies.

EDB, which was founded in 2011 after a merger between Emirates Industrial Bank and Real Estate Bank, provides direct and indirect financing to UAE-domiciled businesses or projects across any of its five priority sectors — manufacturing, infrastructure, advanced technology, food security and health care.

The bank also supports entrepreneurs and start-ups with non-financial services such as the provision of training and advisory programmes designed to build credit worthiness.

The lender works with state entities such as the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology , and free zones such as the Abu Dhabi Global Market, Dubai Industrial City, Jebel Ali Free Zone and Khalifa Industrial Zone to provide financing to their clients.

Last week, EDB also signed a preliminary agreement with the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and Tawazun Industrial Park to provide flexible solutions such as green financing, as well as the financing of capital expenditure, start-ups and SMEs, to support the UAE's defence industry.

“The bank’s growing financing activities, product suite and advisory capabilities for mSMEs [micro, small and medium enterprises] and large corporates have enabled it to achieve record levels of loans approved, GDP contribution and job creation,” EDB chief executive Ahmed Al Naqbi said.

“As we look to 2023, we will build on this momentum. We are well positioned to further drive our developmental mandate, enhance the bank’s financial offerings across our five strategic sectors and continue contributing to the economic competitiveness of our nation.”

Updated: March 01, 2023, 10:34 AM