LENDING & CREDIT | Cesar Tordesillas, Hong Kong

HSBC boosts SME loan fund by $516M

HSBC is adding US$516 million to its SME loan fund in Hong Kong, the second increase this year, for a total of US$1.548 billion in lending since December 2008.To date, HSBC has approved US$1.019 billion in loans to 4,125 SMEs in Hong Kong since the fund was launched in December 2008. The original US$516 million was doubled to US$1.032 billion in March 2009."The increasing demand for credit among Hong Kong’s SME sector is a sign of the territory’s economic resilience. SMEs are open and active, and HSBC remains committed to supporting its customers," said Mr. John Coverdale, HSBC Global Co-head of Commercial Banking for Asia-Pacific.Nearly 90 percent of the approved loans to date are for applicants of the Hong Kong Government’s SME Loan Guarantee Scheme and the Special SME Loan Guarantee Scheme. The Hong Kong fund is part of the HSBC US$5 billion global fund, which is also available to SMEs in Malaysia, the UK, France and Malta. The fund represents additional money above what HSBC would expect to lend in the current environment.

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