Emirates Development Bank is on course to achieve its goals of supporting the UAE’s economy through the growth of the industrial sector and boosting the contribution of small and medium businesses to its gross domestic product.
The lender, a key financial enabler of the country’s economic diversification and industrial transformation agenda, has made significant progress in the first six months of this year and is set to further advance its strategic agenda, EDB said after its fifth board meeting.
“EDB has taken strong strides in its strategic road map to support the country’s economic diversification efforts,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, chairman of the EDB board and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology.
“The steps taken in such a short span of time, since the launch of our new strategy, augur well for our long-term plans.”
In its latest meeting, the EDB board discussed the plan for the second half of 2021. That included initiatives to position assets in the developmental space and hasten the bank's digitisation agenda.
EDB was founded in 2011 after a merger between Emirates Industrial Bank and the Real Estate Bank. The lender has overhauled its strategy and aims to provide Dh30 billion in financing over the next five years to support the UAE’s efforts to more than double the size of its industrial sector by 2031.
It will fund industries such as health care, infrastructure, food security, technology and help in the creation of 25,000 jobs.
EDB is also providing critical assistance that enables the development and financing of SMEs.
The bank's board also reviewed its performance during the first six months of the year, including the launch of its credit guarantee and co-lending programme.
It also looked at its partnership with the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and issuance of its second bond of Dh750 million, which was four times oversubscribed.
“We have made considerable progress in the first half of 2021,” said Ahmed Al Naqbi, chief executive of EDB. “Our partnerships with government entities, partner banks and anchor buyers are significant milestones in our journey as they highlight our commitment to provide an all-encompassing business ecosystem to SMEs and unlock immense potential for them.”
EDB has signed credit guarantee and co-lending programmes for SMEs with five partner banks, including RAKBank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, National Bank of Umm Al Quwain, Mashreq and First Abu Dhabi Bank.
As part of the agreement, EDB’s partner banks can offer up to Dh10m financing to an SME, and 50 per cent of the amount will be either guaranteed or co-lent by EDB.
In June, EDB signed an agreement with Dubai-based Beehive to boost funding to UAE SMEs in priority economic sectors. Beehive, a peer-to-peer platform, will provide loans to "creditworthy" SMEs looking to expand their operations or improve working capital through Dh30m of funding allocated by EDB.
EDB has also tied up with the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry to support manufacturers, exporters and SMEs through direct and indirect lending and equity funding for SMEs and start-ups.