Since its founding, SHUAA has focused on investment in small to medium sized enterprises initially through private equity with family businesses and government wealth funds participation.
Later, SHUAA developed further financial services aimed at growing the indigenous opportunities: corporate finance advisory, asset management and an asset backed lending capability focused on serving institutions in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as well as family offices and high net worth individuals.
Historically, most of its investment banking transactions have been for UAE and Saudi Arabian companies. Its securities sales and trading clients are in number largely high net worth individuals, but in assets, institutions hold the majority.
Institutional clients include not only corporate treasury operations, but also hedge funds, asset managers, banks, investment banks and Sovereign Wealth Funds, many of which are based outside the region and seeking business or investment opportunities in MENA.
SHUAA offers a full range of services to financial institutions seeking to do corporate finance business in the Middle East, including corporate finance advisory and institutional brokerage of equities and fixed income in MENA markets. SHUAA’s research team covers most of the large cap financial services sector listed in the UAE as well as some in Saudi Arabia. The Firm can offer asset management services for fund allocations dedicated to MENA or selected Middle Eastern markets through its award winning portfolio management team.
SHUAA has first-hand experience and understanding of government related enterprise issues and working out solutions which combine the best interests of the public and private sectors. We have extensive experience offering counsel and advisory services to government entities on best practices pioneered and refined in the private sector.
We are a leader in providing corporate finance advisory services to companies in the UAE seeking to grow through M&A, raising capital and asset financing. Recently, we have expanded our asset financing capabilities to include Saudi Arabia where we have established Gulf Installments Company, a related company to Gulf Finance Corporation in the UAE. Whether it is the early stage of SME development requiring loans or strategic investment and advice, through to raising capital and expansion overseas, SHUAA has helped many UAE companies fulfill their ambitions though financing and advice.
On the asset management side, SHUAA offers discretionary portfolio management for corporates, as well as a selection of actively managed funds for Treasury investment and Pension Fund investment, which have won awards and have beaten benchmarks.
The SME market (Small and Medium Enterprises) represents over 50 per cent of the UAE's GDP, 80 per cent of employment, and account for over 90 per cent of non-oil exports but only receives around 4 per cent of bank lending, while in Dubai, SMEs count for 95 per cent of the total enterprise population, employ around 42 per cent of Dubai’s workforce and contribute 40 per cent of Dubai’s value add according to the Dubai Department of Economic Development.
Moreover, the number of SMEs is growing at a high single digit rate. In Saudi Arabia, SMEs account for 90 per cent of all Saudi businesses, 24.7 per cent of employment but receive only 2 per cent of bank lending. With over 220,000 SMEs in the Kingdom, many of which are underserved, credit demand outpaces supply.
Gulf Finance Corporation (UAE) and Gulf Installments Company (Saudi Arabia) are addressing the SME financing need through asset backed lending and leasing, including Islamic products. They cater to a wide range of industries including Power, oil and gas and water, infrastructure, marine, medical and construction businesses.