Doha, Qatar, 4 September 2018: Qatar Development Bank (QDB) takes pride in announcing the “Best Partner Bank Award” for supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through Al Dhameen Program. These awards recognize the contributions of participating banks that have supported the development organization’s Al Dhameen indirect loan facility program. This is one of the most successful initiatives by QDB to assist SMEs of Qatar and offer them the much needed support to grow further in their endeavors. The ceremony was held yesterday at City Centre Rotana Doha Hotel. The awards ceremony was graced by HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani, Governor of Qatar Central Bank (QCB) and chairman of Qatar Development Bank (QDB), as well as the executive leadership and top management of participating banks, in addition to media representatives.
During the ceremony, four partner banks were awarded the “Best Partner Bank” titles after having successfully met the criteria set by Al Dhameen program in recognition to their uniquely outstanding support in financing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Qatar. Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB) has bagged “Best Partner” award, while QNB received the “Best Credit Portfolio Management” award. Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) was also awarded “Best Portfolio Growth” award, whereas Al Khalij Commercial Bank (al khaliji) P.Q.S.C received the “Best Customer Satisfaction” award.
Eight banks were nominated for the “Best Partner Bank” award which consisted of four different categories that were identified this year winners in terms of their performance in financing entrepreneurs. An independent consultant was appointed to visit partner banks, in order to audit and review the credit portfolio management performance of all the clients and their transactions, their expenses, and following the terms and conditions of the main loan guarantee agreement.
QDB’s aims from this award ceremony is to express appreciation to the partner banks that have made an huge efforts to develop Al Dhameen program, to highlight the overall growth of the Al Dameen program, and the positive impact it has had on its customers and the State of Qatar.
Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Development Bank, said:
“We are extremely elated to have presented these awards to the winning Banks who have helped us in enhancing the growth and performance of SMEs of Qatar. We all know that these SMEs need nurturing to grow and that’s what our Al Dhameen Program intends to achieve. Together with partners like you the journey is and will be quite enriching to accomplish milestones year after year. These awards only firm our belief on you as the trusted partners for achieving the unprecedented and is a testament of your exceptional support and unparalleled services.”
He added, “Through this program, we are making sure that we finance the core sectors that are crucial for the growth of the country’s diversification push, as emphasized in the Qatar National Vision 2030. These include the manufacturing, healthcare, education, tourism and value-added services sectors.”
The winning partner banks were selected this year in accordance with stringent criteria set by QDB, including a questionnaire that was completed by program clients. The evaluation was based on the partner banks’ capabilities in terms of legal and technical support as well as the speed with which it overcame obstacles facing customers. This meant that the banks were also evaluated on their ability to provide full support to customers during the approval of credit and the rapid stages of termination of the exchange procedures and methods of payment, as well as measuring the quality and efficiency of interaction between customers and managers of relationships in banks.
The Best Partner Bank Award ceremony this year comes as the latest in a series of initiatives, programs and activities organized by QDB to contribute to the growth of SMEs, in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, to diversify the sources of national income, stimulate the private sector and develop a knowledge-based economy.
Al-Dhameen is a QDB initiative encouraging banks to offer financing to startups and SMEs that are unable to provide the necessary financing guarantees or collaterals. It does not offer direct financing to SMEs. Instead, it issues a letter of guarantee to the financing bank, promising to repay up to 85% of the allocated funds (not exceeding QAR 15 million). This allows startup and SME owners to obtain the financing they need from a list of participating banks to launch or grow their business.
Qatar Development bank strives to provide comprehensive and necessary support to accelerate the growth of Qatar’s private sector and play its pivotal role in meeting the economic diversification and contribute towards a sustainable and competitive economy.