Italian FinTech partners with Abu Dhabi company on scheme to offer loans

Agreement between Supply@ME and iMass investments will trial an inventory monetisation programme with Abu Dhabi-based manufacturers and lenders

Abu Dhabi - June 16, Studio shots of UAE Dirhams. ( Philip Cheung / The National ) *** Local Caption ***  PC0102-Currency.JPGPC0102-Currency.JPGPC0102-Currency.JPG
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A financial technology company that lends money to businesses on stock in their warehouse is set to launch in the Middle East after signing an agreement with an Abu Dhabi-based partner.

Supply@ME, a FinTech company owned by Italy's Avantgarde Group, signed an agreement with Khaled AlMass's iMass Investments, to pilot an inventory monetisation programme, according to a statement on the London Stock Exchange, where the company's shares trade.

The accord will be complete by the end of the first quarter of next year. Manufacturers or funders taking part in the pilot scheme were not named.

“The UAE has a proven track record of investing in FinTech initiatives to support the real economy and we are very pleased to be part of that trend,” Alessandro Zamboni, chief executive of Supply@Me Capital, said.

Supply@Me was listed on the London Stock Exchange in March this year, raising £2.4 million (Dh11.5m).

The company has created a FinTech platform that can lend money to businesses with tangible, re-sellable assets that are used as security for the loans but which remain in customers’ warehouses, tracked by a monitoring platform.

These loans are then securitised and sold on to investors, and in the event of a company defaulting the stock can be re-sold.

Last month Supply@Me said it has a pipeline of client companies worth €555m (Dh2.4 billion), which it expects to monetise once inventory funding is secured. It expects to issue its first securitised notes by the end of this year.

Supply@Me’s initial focus has been on Europe, but it said the agreement with iMass paves the way for a rollout across the Middle East. iMass was founded in 2007 by Mr AlMass, who is a board member of Taqa, healthcare insurer Daman and Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance.

iMass has carried out analysis of the UAE market that estimates there is the potential to monetise up to $50bn (Dh183.6bn) of imported inventory as well as $28bn of locally-produced, non-oil goods.

“We're very excited to have an opportunity to work closely with iMass and Mr Almass in the UAE,"  Mr Zamboni said. "Bringing such financial services professionals and their extensive network of business connections and local knowledge into partnership with us should give SYME the opportunity to launch and scale-up well in this region.”