Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and Qatar National Bank (QNB) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will see the two banks work together on 'Al Dhameen' a loan assurance program for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to facilitate private sector development in Qatar.

The Al Dhameen will also encourage banks in Qatar to expand their lending to the small and medium scale sector, especially to those SMEs that hold promise but are not in a position to leverage assets or furnish accounting records to secure these loans.

Moreover, the program will be gradually incorporated across all banks operating in Qatar, starting with QNB in the banking sector and active role in supporting the development of the national economy, particularly the SME sector.

Mansour Al Mahmoud, chief executive of QDB said that this agreement is of particular significance as it represents the activation of QDB’s strategy for supporting SMEs, which are important to shaping the Qatari economy. QDB conducted comprehensive analysis covering the constraints being faced by this sector.

Mr Al Mahmoud added that Al Dhameen is not an insurance program to protect banking sector loan portfolios but one that aims to stimulate lending while ensuring efficiency in the way loans are made available to SMEs.

Ali Shareef Al Emadi, CEO of QNB Group has said that this agreement will contribute to the development of many national projects, reflecting positively on the diversification of private sector contributions to Qatar’s GDP, in accordance with Qatar National Vision 2030. This program will be an incentive for banks operating in Qatar to create innovative financial products tailored to the needs of SMEs.