Belfast Telegraph

Turkish delight on horizon for firms chasing £5m HSBC loan support

Two Northern Ireland companies are in Istanbul today, as they compete in an initiative by HSBC to find the UK's most forward-thinking companies.

Natural World Products in Portadown, Co Armagh, and Hagans Leisure (UK) in Ballyclare, Co Antrim, will represent the province in the HSBC drive.

They could win £5m in lending, and a financial reward of up to £100,000.

Finalists across the UK have been invited to attend an international 'thought exchange' visit to Istanbul. The trip will allow each of the companies to meet like-minded business thinkers, to network, and to consider business opportunities in Turkey.

Cecil Russell, HSBC regional director for Northern Ireland, said: "The regional judging panel was presented with many strong entries from across Northern Ireland.

"The calibre of entries made choosing the finalists an extremely tough decision, but we were pleased to see there are so many ambitious, innovative businesses in the region.

"The two businesses that have been chosen as finalists are truly innovative, are driven by strong management teams, and have a real understanding of the need to invest and look to the future to get ahead."

The two regional finalists, along with four Scottish finalists, will then take part in a second phase of the initiative, in which they will present a refined business case.

The presentation will be judged by HSBC's panel of experts, and two winners will receive up to £5m in lending, plus a financial reward of up to £100,000 each.