HSBC Bank Oman S.A.O.G. announced today that it is doubling the size of its SME-focused International Growth Fund, initially launched last year. HSBC is committing an additional OMR 20 million to Oman’s international and internationally aspirant SMEs, bringing the total value of the Fund to OMR 40 million. The Fund continues to be open to new and existing importing and exporting customers who are based in Oman, and have cross border trading requirements or aspire to grow internationally.
Announcing the launch, Iain Morrison, General Manager and Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC Bank Oman, said, “Today we are pleased to announce the allocation of an additional OMR 20 million to our International Growth Fund. Last year, we launched this first Fund of its kind in Oman in the knowledge that SMEs are critical to the future of Oman’s economy and that supporting their growth and prosperity is vital. Today, we are reaffirming this commitment and are confident that the unique combination of our local knowledge and international expertise will continue to enable international and internationally aspirant SMEs in Oman to thrive.”
Morrison added, “Our initial Fund has been allocated across a range of sectors, such as those supporting oil and gas, as well as construction and general trading, for example, foodstuffs.”
The Fund continues to be administered by HSBC Bank Oman’s Business Banking team. Daniel Felton, Head of Corporate and Business Banking for HSBC Bank Oman said, “International and internationally aspirant SMEs play an important role and have a unique opportunity to increase their contribution to the local economy. Industry research reports that SMEs represent over 90% of the total number of registered firms in Oman but the combined contribution to GDP is only around 15%. This, combined with the fact that 78% of firms in Oman employ five people or fewer and therefore account for less than 10% of total employment nationwide, demonstrates the opportunity that these businesses have to make a material contribution to the growth and diversification of the economy in Oman1.”
Felton added, “At HSBC Bank Oman, supporting SMEs is not just about financing. There are other solutions that a bank can offer, including cash management, corporate cards, online banking and more. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, educating SME owners and providing them with access to the right information is critical in helping them to achieve their growth ambitions. Our quarterly “Growth Series” seminars have been very popular with our SME clients, helping to share useful industry information as well as providing direct access to industry experts.”
The SME sector is very important to Oman’s economy, both from an employment perspective and for the role these businesses play in the traditional oil & gas industries. The sector helps contribute to the diversification of the Oman economy in areas such as tourism, professional services, health care and logistics.
HSBC Bank Oman provides access to a wide range of business products and services for SMEs through to large Corporates. Corporate financing solutions, including Trade, Treasury, Global Payments and Cash Management, Corporate Credit Cards, Custody, Clearing, and Time Deposits are available to more than 10,000 corporate clients across the county. HSBC Bank Oman is part of a global network of 6,100 offices in over 72 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa.