HSBC has launched its Dh1bn (US$27.2mn) international trade SME fund for firms in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

30% of the fund will be allocated to Emirati-owned businesses, although funding will be made available to all new and existing customers with cross-border trading requirements, HSBC says in a statement.

The fund is the third tranche in the bank’s UAE’s flagship SME fund programme. The first tranche of the fund was opened in 2010 and was successfully allocated within the first six months.

The second tranche was launched in 2011 and funds were allocated within the first three months.

Abdulfattah Sharaf, HSBC’s chief executive officer for the Middle East, says the fund will be aimed at SMEs with international trading requirements and will work extensively with the UAE’s free zones, relevant government authorities and key working groups.

76% of midsized corporates already conduct cross-border business, while more than 90% of UAE-based businesses are currently involved in international trade, according to Rana Al Emam, HSBC’s head of business banking.

“The types of applications we received for our previous funds fully support these statistics. 67% of our initial fund was awarded to customers who required international trade facilities. And a healthy 87% of our second fund was allocated to internationally oriented SMEs. It is clear that businesses are positioning themselves to make the most of international opportunities in order to grow and succeed.”