MANAMA : Bahrain Development Bank (BDB) and Tamkeen have signed an agreement to increase their enterprise financing portfolio by BD10 million ( $26.5m ), taking the total amount of the portfolio to BD130m ( $344m ). Tamkeen offers the scheme in partnership with various banks to support enterprises and contribute to their development and growth. The agreement was signed to meet the growing demand for Sharia-compliant financial solutions by small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Under the scheme, Tamkeen guarantees 50 per cent of total finance, ranging between BD5,000 and BD500,000, and subsidises 50pc of the profit payments by the beneficiary enterprise. "The scheme is a key programme that Tamkeen launched to provide solutions to business owners wishing to develop their businesses," said BDB and Tamkeen chairman Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa , who is also Tamkeen's acting chief executive. "Since its launch, the programme has allocated BD262.2m in co-operation with partner banks to provide finance for SMEs. "This shows that it is playing a key role in supporting the private sector as the driver of the national economy. "As demand for the programme rises, an additional budget of BD100m is set to be added to its portfolio in 2014 and 2015 to meet this demand," he added. BDB's group chief executive Nidal Al Awjan said SMEs were increasingly becoming the backbone of the economy in many countries as they added value and created more jobs. "The enterprise finance portfolio was increased to accommodate all needs and attract the largest number of creative young men and women with broad vision, technical and intellectual skills as well as unique talent," he added. "We always advocate a culture of self-reliance and initiative-taking." From the launch of this programme in 2008 until the end of December last year, more than BD111,475m were offered through 3,861 finance contracts. "This proves the efficiency of the programme and the importance of developing it to fulfil all requirements and ambitions," Mr Awjan added.
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