Mr. Abdulbasit Al-Shaibei, CEO of the (QIIB) and Mr. Abdul Aziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa, CEO of the Qatar Development Bank (QDB) signed the Al Dhameen program portfolio agreement, sponsored by the QDB, enabling further expansion of SMEs financing.
The signing was attended by Mr. Jamal Al Jamal, Deputy CEO of QIIB together with Mr. Masson Al Asfar, head of Corporate Banking, and Mr. Mahmoud Abdullah, head of SMEs Banking services. Attending from the QDB were Mr. Hamad Al Kubaisi, Executive Director for Strategy and Business Development, Mrs. Jawaher Al Nuaimi, Director of the Al Dhameen program, and Mr. Khaled Al Maneh Executive Director of Business Finance.
The new product "Al Dhameen portfolio", is a 100 million Qatari Riyals portfolio aimed at facilitating and speeding up approvals to guaranty the value of the funding provided by the partner bank to small and medium enterprises lacking sufficient guarantees. QDB has prepared a special portfolio guide that describes the terms, conditions, eligibility criteria, due diligence, credit monitoring, applications and guidelines development, to help QIIB to take the necessary decisions without referring to the QDB. The drafting of the program content took nearly two years of close cooperation between QDB and partner banks to cater to all needs and increase transparency.
Commenting on this event, Mr. Abdul Aziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa, CEO of QDB, was thrilled to launch the new products` portfolio of the Al Dhameen program. He said: “The Al Dhameen program has been very successful so far in achieving the goal of its creation, overcoming the financial obstacles facing the SME sector, allowing SMEs to attain financial sustainability on a larger scale. And today the program comes out with a new look along with the partner banks, helping to speed up bank financing process for SMEs, so that the entrepreneurs of the QDB can find their ideal destination, as the bank provides them with a full range of products of which they can take a great advantage, such as the implementation of business planning, the adoption of a variety of tools to support the SMEs through the Internet as well as the specialized training programs. The bank will also allow them to benefit from the bank's advisory services, including assistance in the development of their own feasibility studies and conducting market research as well as ensuring the adequate care enabling them to launch their projects and compete within the local and international markets”.
Similarly, and on the sidelines of the signing ceremony which took place at the headquarters of QDB, Grand Hamad Street, Mr. Abdulbasit Al-Shaibei, CEO of QIIB stated: "I would like first to thank the QDB, being represented by Mr. Abdul Aziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa, for their interest and their keenness on the persistence and the development of the partnership with QIIB through the Al Dhameen program which has achieved an unparalleled success in the past years. We, in the QIIB, are proud to be the first Islamic bank in Qatar on the list of Al Dhameen program in terms of the volume of funds granted, as we are the first bank to sign the Al Dhameen program portfolio agreement”.
He added: “The new program does not abolish the existing program. It is a sophisticated and advanced replica of it, allowing to shorten dramatically the time and effort of funding according to the program, and promising to grant funding to eligible projects directly according to the agreed standards between the QIIB and the QDB”.
He pointed out that “In order to support the vital sectors through the Al Dhameen program portfolio, it was agreed to include industry, health, education and tourism sectors as well as value-added services while the old Al Dhameen program continue to provide funds for the same sectors”.
The CEO of QIIB assured that “this program is part of an ambitious program implemented by the government at different levels to sponsor SMEs, support them and stimulate creative initiatives by engaging Qataris and to encourage them to a wider participation in building their country and developing the national economy in all fields”.
He noted that “the leading Al Dhameen program experience ensures the development of large sectors and creates job opportunities that benefit the community in its various segments. It also reduces the dependence on imports and open up broad potentials for the export of goods produced in the State of Qatar, and furthermore, the development and the success of SMEs come to match the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030”.
Al-Shaibei called on the SMEs “not to hesitate to take advantage of the new program and QIIB will ensure the facilitation of procedures, provide all the necessary advices and grant funding in accordance with the agreed rules with QDB, rules that respect the banking standards and, at the same time, take into account the specificity of SMEs and their important role”.
SMEs wishing to benefit from the new program can visit QIIB’s Corporate Branch at Grand Hamad Street, where their applications will be assessed in accordance with the criteria adopted in the program signed with the QDB.
In enhancing and improving the Al-Dhameen program, QDB relied on the survey of partner banks and all concerned parties to expand the base of beneficiaries and allow the partner banks to determine the appropriate small and medium enterprises to be financed and to fund them more flexibly. Al-Dhameen program continued its distinguished contribution to the enhancement and diversification of the national economy and achieved the highest rates since it was launched in 2010 as the bank agreed to provide bank guarantees estimated at more than QR 573 million for more than 212 small and medium enterprises. QR 363 million of these guarantees were cashed.
The financing services provided by the Al-Dhameen program aim to encourage banks to fund small and medium enterprises, which might not obtain the necessary funding due to their short credit history and not possessing enough assets that can be used as a collateral. Through the program, small and medium enterprises operating in Qatar were able to obtain guarantees up to 85% of the finance value; ther Al-Dhameen program is one of the support means to overcome the obstacles of guarantees and short credit history for those companies.
The program is also keen to facilitate financing procedures for sectors that represent great importance for the national economy, such as industry, education, health care and value-added services. The Al-Dhameen program mainly targets start-up companies (less than 3 years old), in addition to existing companies characterized by an annual capital cycle of less than QR 30 million.