Bloomberg News

HSBC Starts 1 Billion-Dirham International Trade SME Fund

May 15, 2012

HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd. said it started a 1 billion-dirham ($272 million) international trade fund for small and medium-sized businesses with 30 percent allocated to companies held by United Arab Emirates nationals.

Loan growth at the bank in the small and medium business segment grew about 20 percent in 2011 and will probably increase by just under that figure in 2012, Nick Levitt, HSBC’s head of U.A.E. commercial banking in Dubai, said today at a conference in Abu Dhabi. Total loans outstanding for the bank in the segment are valued at $600 million, he said.

Total loan growth in the U.A.E. in the first-quarter was 0.7 percent, Levitt said.

Abdulfattah Sharaf, chief executive officer of HSBC Bank Middle East, said at the same event that the bank would probably integrate its operations with the acquisition it made this year of Llyods Banking Group Plc’s consumer and commercial-banking assets in the U.A.E. by the end of the year.

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Europe’s largest bank, said on March 29 that it agreed to buy $769 million of Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY)’s consumer and commercial-banking assets in the U.A.E. to bolster its presence in the Middle East.

HSBC said at the time that customer accounts in the U.A.E. grew 11 percent to $18.17 billion in 2011. Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver in February named the UAE along with Mexico and India as an area for “repositioning” the bank in consumer finance.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mahmoud Kassem in Abu Dhabi at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Riad Hamade at

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