Gulf Finance Corporation (GFC), the small-to-medium-sized enterprise (SME) financing company wholly owned by Dubai-based investment bank Shuaa Capital, has closed a AED500m ($136m) syndicated loan.

The funds will be used to support the company’s growth in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. GFC opened up new operations in Abu Dhabi’s industrial area of Mussafah last October, and is planning further expansion.

The loan has a tenor of 42 months and includes a AED50m standby letter of credit.  

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) was the initial mandated lead arranger and bookrunner of the deal, and was joined by National Bank of Oman as the manadated lead arranger and UAE-based United Arab Bank as lead arranger.

National Bank of Fujairah, Blom Bank France and India’s Bank of Baroda acted as arrangers.

Shuaa Capital’s executive chairman, Sheikh Maktoum Hasher al-Maktoum, told MEED last May that the bank would be looking to increase its leverage to fuel growth in its lending business.

At the end of 2014, it was announced that Sheikh Hasher would step down from his role as executive chairman in February this year, following the announcement of the bank’s full-year results.

Al-Maktoum was appointed in May 2011 to turn around the investment bank’s fortunes.

Shuaa Capital was badly affected by the financial crisis in 2009. After several years of posting losses, it finally returned to profitability in 2013.