Thanks to the incredible number of free zones available, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a great place for a small, foreign-owned company to do business in. And if location is one of the key ingredients in running a successful business, which it surely is, then expanding out of the UAE and into adjacent Middle East markets is more than achievable, especially given the levels of corporate finance and expertise available from many of the major, multinational banks in the region.
If you have a little spare time, check out the corporate accounts from HSBC, or Barclays, or Egypt’s Banque du Caire to see what’s what. There are many banks in Egypt and other nearby countries ready and willing to assist with any future expansion plans you might be thinking about implementing. With such an extensive range of corporate finance packages available, they can certainly help turn all of your ideas into reality.
Banque du Caire’s offerings are particularly noteworthy, its corporate credit portfolio reckoned by observers to be one of its major strengths. With well over 200 branches and over 300 ATMs spread throughout Egypt, not to mention its nearly 2 million customers, the 60-year-old bank also has a strong presence in the UAE.
Over the years, Banque du Caire, by providing finance and business banking for investors, has played a vital role in supporting the growth of exports and industrial development in Egypt. This has created more opportunities and jobs for Egyptians, thus fulfilling one of the government’s major directives. It sure sounds like a bank well worth talking to, especially if your expansion plans are likely to create some jobs for the locals at the same time!
So what should you be looking out for when searching about for corporate banking services – from any bank, that is? What should be at the top of any would-be ‘shopping list’? It’s very hard to give any definitive answers because that will very much be dependent on individual priorities and circumstances.
Certainly, expert advice, both geographical and specific to the business, available as and when you need it, should be high up on any agenda. That way, any and all risks are kept to an absolute minimum.
You’ll need a bank that not only understands your business, but also understands your particular business cycle – the bottlenecks, for example, which may cause cash flow difficulties. This can be a particular problem when trading across international borders, so the setting up of documentary credits and the like will probably be vital.
At some point you may need to be able to access extra financing, whether in the short-term or over a much longer period of time. Perhaps your business is taking-off faster than expected and you now need to expand. Or maybe trading conditions have proved tougher than expected.
Likely you’ll have some kind of overdraft facility already in place. Sometimes, however, that’s simply not enough, especially when unexpected difficulties or problems arise. A strong working relationship between you and the bank of your choice, able to quickly process requests for extra funding, should see you through. Maybe that’s all you’ll ever really need, fingers crossed!
Guest Author Bio
Helen Major has a keen interest in business finance and has been writing for blogs and newspapers on the subject for a number of years. Recently, she has been consulting small and start-up businesses on building successful internet marketing campaigns.