According to a press release, HSBC Bank Oman will be the first bank in the country to launch a dedicated international trade SME fund.
Announcing the fund, Ewan Stirling, chief executive officer of HSBC Bank Oman, said, “In line with His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s far-reaching vision to support SMEs, HSBC Bank Oman is proud to announce the planned launch of this first-of-its-kind product in Oman, the HSBC Bank Oman International Trade SME Fund.
"The dedicated RO20mn fund will help SMEs achieve their ambitions and as a result, encourage entrepreneurship, economic growth and increased employment opportunities. HSBC Bank Oman reaffirms its deep commitment to the sultanate and the businesses that support the country’s mission of diversifying the economy. We continue to work extensively with relevant government authorities and key working groups to ensure that the segment flourishes and grows organically and His Majesty the Sultan’s 'Vision 2020' is realised.”
Representing the bank at the upcoming SME Symposium in Bahla next week, Stirling will be among key speakers at the event that will address the important role that SMEs play in driving job generation and economic development. The symposium will also shed light on ways of instilling a culture of self-employment and entrepreneurship among youth as well as solutions to the challenges and obstacles in the path of progress in the SME sector.
The fund will strongly focus on SMEs with international trading requirements. Trade continues to be a strong area of focus for HSBC both locally and globally. A trade bank by origin, HSBC said it believes that it can continue to add value to this segment through leveraging this strength, its global footprint and extensive knowledge and expertise of the Omani economy that dates back to 1947.
The bank has operated dedicated teams focused on the needs of the SME sector since it first started operations in Oman, and has teams of specialists in the market dedicated to working closely with SMEs to deliver targeted financial solutions which meet their unique business requirements, the release added.
Iain Morrison, head of commercial banking, added, “International trade is critical to global economic recovery. Previous HSBC commissioned research shows that 76 per cent of mid-sized corporates already conduct cross-border business, and many Oman-based businesses are currently involved in international trade. With a presence in more than 80 countries, HSBC is uniquely placed to support SMEs in doing business internationally.”
Once the new SME fund is officially launched, the bank’s business banking specialists will be engage with customers and business partners to communicate the benefits of this initiative and how best to make use of it.