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HSBC launches SME fund in UAE

British lender HSBC Holdings has launched a Dhs1bn small and medium enterprises (SME) fund and said it sees loans to the sector in the UAE growing by 20% this year, Reuters has reported. Exposure to the SME sector in the UAE ending December 2011 was over $600m, HSBC said. "The level of loan growth (overall) is very limited at the moment, it won't go into double-digit growth," said Nicholas Levitt, head of HSBC commercial banking in the UAE, adding the big five local banks in the UAE posted only a 0.7% growth in loans in the first quarter of this year.