According to sources and an official quote from First Abu Dhabi Bank, “UAE’s biggest lender by assets, expects that the SME’s (Small-Medium Sized Enterprises) will continue to attain a double-digit growth continuing on the good form shown in 2019 which will up the SME market to a 20 per cent surge.”
According to words quoted by Vikas Thapar, head of the business banking group at FAB, “The bank controls 15 per cent of total UAE’s SME Market Share is seeking to achieve the milestone of capturing 20 per cent within 2020.”
Mr Thapar also added on that FAB’s combined book in its business banking sector especially SME business which included the Assets and Liabilities surged ahead little more than 15 per cent in 2018 to close at Dh 20 billion, and he expects it to grow to double digits this year as well.
He also shared through SME World Summit in Dubai, that there is a massive scope of improvising SME business in UAE as well with their prime focus on their growth as well in turn boosting overall business lines of SME’s in FAB.
All the SME’s on an average have tie-ups with at least three to four banks, and as one of the leading banks in UAE, they urge to have the most significant investment and market share from the customers that bank upon them.
Although since the three-year economic slowdown since 2014, that even upturned the most potent economies like USA, UK, European countries, China etc, fearing the initial outcome of slowdown, and not knowing the potentiality carried by SME’s, global banks were averse to lending the small businesses, that made it difficult to sustain the slowdown.
Thus, the rate of defaulters or Skips on loans increased two folds as most of the small businesses became profitless and went down without much a fight.
Mr Thapar also stated that, however, with a deceleration in the present rate of Skips or Default loan, especially in the SME sector, the economy is bouncing back to better times. He also added that there is a radical change in the quality of their portfolio as there is a drastic reduction in the number of bad debts and non-performing loans/skips as it remains just one-fourth of what it used to be in earlier days.
There is also a lot of positive changes in both the governments at federal as well as Emirate level who are now encouraging lenders to increase the financing levels for SME’s. First Abu Dhabi Bank and its officials are striving hard with different Dubai and Abu Dhabi based governmental agencies, which also includes, a major parallel project going on with the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, on development and growth of the SME as well Entrepreneurship firms.
Thus, in general, the new revolution is spearheading the powers of SME sector in UAE, thus paving the way for an SME revolution in the near future. It also initiates a program to fund and support top 100 Middle East based SME’s project thus paving the way for a diversified and parallel non-oil sector.