HSBC, one of the largest multinational banks operating in Egypt, launched a EGP 300m International Growth Fund in Egypt on Sunday, with the aim of helping new and existing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) expand their distribution networks into new international markets.
“SMEs are the backbone of the Egyptian economy and are an important segment of customers for us all over the world,” said Mohammed Al Tuwajiri, chairman of HSBC Bank Egypt and deputy chairman & CEO of HSBC Middle East and North Africa. “So we have a strong commitment to supporting SMEs within Egypt, and the launch of the HSBC International Growth Fund is carefully targeted at doing just that.”
Al Tuwajiri added that the fund is just one of the many ways with which HSBC intends to encourage the growth of this important segment in Egypt.
“We’ve all seen Egypt in the news in recent months and are aware that the country faces challenges. But HSBC has been operating in Egypt for over 30 years and we continue to see much opportunity in the country,” Al Tuwajiri said, adding that it has become apparent that the SMEs sector will improve following conversations with HSBC’s network customers.
According to HSBC’s chairman, the latest HSBC Trade Forecast report stated that Egypt will witness a 4% pick-up in exports. The report added that by 2030, Egypt’s top export destinations will be India, China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey where the most important export sectors will be mineral manufactures, chemicals and petroleum products.
Conflictingly, earlier in July, the bank cut down SMEs service and terminated some of the accounts it had. However a source at the bank then told Daily News Egypt that the bank remains committed to the SME segment.
“The goal of the review is to identify SMEs that trade internationally or which have offices overseas, or intend to operate cross border in the near future,” the source said. “Because international business is at the heart of HSBC’s strategy, these are the customers whose needs HSBC is best-placed to address.”
Meanwhile, deputy chairman and CEO of HSBC Egypt said the bank was “excited about the launch of our EGP 300 million International Growth Fund which will provide another avenue of support for SME businesses actively seeking to grow and expand internationally.”
“It will also enable them [SME businesses] to benefit from the wide range of our services and network in over 80 countries around the world,” Long added.