Dubai: Companies in the United Arab Emirates are calling for continued financial support and greater flexibility in repaying loans in light of the impact Covid-19 has on their revenue and cash flow.
In a survey of 63 companies in the UAE conducted by MEED and Mashreq, nearly 88 percent of companies said their banking needs changed as a result of the pandemic, and more than 50 percent said they had a greater need to financing it.
“Companies in all parts of the economy have been plagued by the impact of Covid-19 on their business,” said Hind Salim Eisa, executive vice president and head of services and manufacturing at Mashreq Bank.
‘A lot of people hit revenue through barriers and travel restrictions. While other productivity levels are falling and costs are rising due to the disruption, ”she adds. “To continue with these challenges, new, more flexible and responsive financing solutions are essential.”
Support through the challenges
Almost all companies, regardless of their size, have seen a shift in their financing needs due to the pandemic.
“Medium-sized companies, which are seen as the backbone of the UAE economy, form the largest customers in our corporate banking portfolio in terms of the number of customers – and also the number of transactions,” said Eisa.
About 57 percent of the mid-sized businesses surveyed, those with annual revenues between $ 30 million – $ 270 million (AED100 million -AED1 billion), reported an increasing need for financial services as a result of the pandemic.
Mashreq has supported this segment and others through initiatives including extended debt commitments, longer loan tenors, providing top-ups for existing loans and delaying collection.
Refine the digital response
In addition to the increased need for funding, companies in the UAE have also called for more responsive digital platforms and increased access to expert advice as they try to respond to a significantly changing market.
For example, about 31 percent of mid-sized businesses have called for more responsive digital platforms to facilitate their financial transactions.
But despite the demand for increased online services, the shift to digital processes is also the source of anxiety for medium-sized companies.
A third said cyber security was their biggest pain, while about a quarter said the lack of measurement services was a major problem.