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SME Bank targets RM252 mln financing in Sabah this year

news001 bigTAWAU: Small and Medium Enterprise Bank (SME Bank) has now been transformed into a fresher, people-friendly bank providing financing loans not only for Bumiputras but non-Bumiputras as well in accordance with their business sector and merit application.

Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Chua Tee Yong said SME Bank has met with 1,666 companies and approved RM379 million financing loans in their outreach program since January this year. SME bank has played vital roles in developing the SME sector and accelerating the increase of SME entrepreneurs throughout the country.

Chua said SME Bank has carried out a series of outreach program for the last three years to generate a good eco-system in terms of achievement as well as to reduce business risks and challenges. The bank not only assists SME entrepreneurs to get their financing loan, but also helps them in managing their business through counseling.

He said this in a press conference after officiating the 14th Outreach program at a hotel here yesterday, which was also held concurrently throughout Malaysia.

“It was learnt that some of the loan applicants were rejected due to the ins and outs of their application method and documentation. The failure of repaying the loan is no longer an issue so far as it is not so serious and still manageable.

“Therefore, a series of outreach program was held by SME Bank to allow the SME entrepreneurs/applicants to get more updated information and advice as well as to become more familiar with the terms and conditions of loan application.

“Nowadays, the government is focusing on productivity and exportation for the sake of international SME market expansion. Meanwhile, SME Bank will also work alongside SME entrepreneurs during this challenging economy in order to generate positive outcomes,” said Chua.

He strongly urged all SME entrepreneurs to be brave and not give up easily when facing hurdles and challenges. They should be patient while amending their business plan and documentation.

On the other hand, Group Managing Director of SME Bank, Datuk Mohd Radzif Mohd Yunus disclosed that Sabah Region has always been one of their focus areas and since the opening of their branches in Kota Kinabalu and Tawau, they have approved more than RM1.5 billion worth of financing and assisted a total of 1,617 customers. For this year, they are targeting to approve financing worth RM252 million to Sabah Region’s SME entrepreneurs.

Based on the economic landscape of Tawau and its surrounding areas, Radzif said SME Bank is offering several financing options that will benefit SME entrepreneurs, among them include the Working Capital Guarantee Scheme (WCGS) which offers working capital financing up to RM5 million with zero collateral and i-Enterprise Premise Financing (i-EPF) providing up to 150 per cent financing of the market value and the term period could be stretched up to 30 years.

As alternatives, SME entrepreneurs could opt for ‘Tabung Industri Kecil (TIKS)’ financing while Bumiputra SME entrepreneurs could consider taking up the ‘Tabung Usahawan Baru 2 (TUB2)’ to meet their financing needs. TIKS and TUB2 offer financing up to RM5 million with the financing rate ranging from four per cent to six per cent per annum.

“Since its inception in 2005 until June 2016, SME Bank has approved RM24.6 billion worth of financing to more than 14,495 customers. The bank’s Upward Migration program has successfully upgraded more than 630 SME businesses to a higher level.

“Meanwhile, Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn Bhd (CEDAR), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SME Bank, has successfully coached more than 28,818 participants in various SME development program,” said Radzif.

According to him, SME Bank’s commitment in assisting SMEs to grow and remain competitive have been recognized internationally by the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP) in Apia, Samoa on May 2, when it received the awards for Outstanding Development Project for the Graduate Entrepreneur Fund (TUS) and Best Sustainability Report 2014.

Radzif, also received the Outstanding CEO Award 2016 from ADFIAP.