Posted on : 23-03-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business
KUALA LUMPUR: AmBank (M) Bhd aims to see a minimum of 15% growth in loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for this year, said its group chief executive officer Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir.
He said the target would be driven by retail, corporate and SME asset financing as well as an increase in infrastructure loan demand amid progressive Malaysian economic background.
“Overall, last year’s growth was slow. It was not in double figures; after some (corporate) restructuring in October 2016, there was a monthly growth of 1%-2%,” he said.
Sulaiman said this to reporters after the signing of SME portfolio guarantee (SPG) agreement for an additional financing of RM200mil with Credit Guarantee Corp (M) Bhd (CGC) in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.
He said the group’s overall loan growth target for 2017 was about 6%-7%, backed by the country’s positive gross domestic product figures.
The financing for eligible SMEs, via AmBanks SME Banking, is part of Tranche 2, an extended scheme from RM150mil in Tranche 1, launched in September 2016, which was fully-subscribed within five months.
Sulaiman said Tranche 2, which has been available since Feb 22, 2017, has disbursed 8% of the amount thus far.
He said it was expected to be also fully subscribed within five months, considering the SPG was much sought-after by SMEs.
Under this scheme, SMEs can apply for financing facilities of up to RM1mil from AmBank SME with repayment tenure of up to seven years.
CGC will guarantee 70% of the principal financing amount.
“Overall, AmBank SME Business and CGC have allocated a total of RM350mil to-date to support the SME businesses in providing working capital financing to qualified borrowers who lack collateral,” said Sulaiman.
CGC president/chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Zamree Mohd Ishak said: “This is our fourth portfolio guarantee (PG) strategic partnership with AmBank and to-date, we have availed RM950mil worth of financing via our PG scheme and we look forward to many opportunities to further increase access to SME financing in Malaysia.”
Mohd Zamree said such initiatives would hasten the achievement of CGC’s aspiration to be a household name for SMEs by 2020.