HSBC commits $5 bln in corporate lending to help UAE growth

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HSBC logo is seen on a branch bank in the financial district in New York, U.S., August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo/File Photo

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DUBAI, June 27 (Reuters) - HSBC (HSBA.L) said on Sunday it is committing $5 billion in lending to "strong" companies in the United Arab Emirates to help drive the Gulf country's growth plans.

The UAE's economy suffered in 2020, as vital sectors like tourism and hospitality were crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Companies, government-linked institutions, as well as sovereigns Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, have borrowed billions to bolster their finances and fund spending.

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"Our research clearly indicates that UAE companies are ready to invest internationally and sustainably," Abdulfattah Sharaf, HSBC's CEO for the UAE and head of international, said.

"Our US$5 billion commitment, between now and 2023, will support plans that strong companies have to enter new trade markets, re-engineer their supply chains, to innovate – and to play an active part in helping shape the nation's future growth story," Sharaf added in a statement.

The commitment by the British bank marks 75 years since HSBC opened its business in the UAE, which is a major oil producer as well as a trade and commerce hub.

HSBC said its Navigator 2020 report showed 81% of companies in the UAE were expected to increase investment spending by end-2021, compared to 66% globally.

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Reporting by Yousef Saba; Editing by Alexander Smith

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