Posted on February 18, 2011

Commercialbank Bank of Qatar and Qatar Development Bank (QDB), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the two banks work together on "Al Dhameen" a loan assurance program for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in Qatar.

The MoU was signed by Mr. Abdul-Aziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa , Executive manager for strategic planning of QDB and Mr. Abdulla Al Raisi Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Commercialbank.  The signing ceremony was attended by Steve Mullins, Chief Corporate Banking Officer, in addition to a number of officials representing both banks.

The Al-Dhameen indirect loan facility program by QDB, now offered by Commercialbank helps economically-viable SMEs overcome certain financial barriers such as the lack of collateral as  required by banks. This facility provides SMEs with access to financing for investment and working capital and is extended to small business owners at affordable profit rates thus facilitating the growth of this sector. Additionally, it helps companies with credit facility challenges to have financial independence. With this new product, Commercialbank is offering its clients additional finance options to grow their business in an easy and flexible way. Commercialbank firmly believes that this sector of the economy needs special attention as it has the potential to grow the economy at a fast rate, creating wealth not only for the business owners but also for Qatar.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"275","attributes":{"class":"media-image alignright size-full wp-image-2456","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"450","height":"216","alt":""}}]]In his comments, Abdulla Al Raisi, DCEO, Commercialbank said: “Commercialbank is committed to the development and progress of Qatar and the achievement of Qatar’s National Vision 2030, the blueprint of sustainable growth in the country.  This agreement with QDB, for ‘Al-Dhameen’ Indirect Finance Facility will go a long way in providing suitable finance options for SMEs, which play a pivotal role in the country’s economic growth and future. With this finance facility, the SMEs will be able to continue their expansion and diversification programmes without any barriers to raising finance. SMEs are a significant pillar of the economy and its sustainable growth. Our Corporate Banking Group aims to develop the best solutions for all companies operating in this important segment through offering specialised products and services.  We are looking forward to facilitating such strategic programmes that are essential to realising Qatar’s National vision.  In addition, we need to see many more Qatari nationals move into the SME sector and start new businesses. Commercialbank is all set to cultivate and promote entrepreneurial spirit and the growth of Small and Medium sized businesses in Qatar.”

Commenting on the occasion, Mr Abdul-Aziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa, said: “The Al-Dhameen program has been  developed to provide simplified and comprehensive solutions to meet all funding requirements for SMEs in Qatar. QDB is working to establishing a favorable finance and investment environment for SMEs in order to build new breed of entrepreneurs in the Qatar.  We are very pleased to partner with Commercialbank in order to use its expertise and experience to ensure proper financing solutions to support and develop SMEs. This MoU is among the most significant initiatives being undertaken to support private sector development in the State of Qatar through the funding of SMEs.”

The "Al Dhameen" program is guided by the well considered policies and initiatives of His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar in order 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 program is the result of extensive research and market studies conducted by QDB to assess current obstacles and challenges being faced by the SME sector, taking into particular account the potential contribution of this segment to overall economic growth and diversification.

Research has identified financing as the main barrier to sustainable growth for SMEs. Based on these findings, QDB has developed "Al Dhameen" which covers a portion of banking sector exposure in the event of borrower default. The program will also encourage banks in Qatar to expand their lending to the small and medium size enterprise sector, especially to those SMEs that hold promise but are not in a position to leverage assets or furnish accounting records to secure the required finance.