KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Group Holdings Bhd is committed to extending RM30 billion in financing to small and medium enterprises (SME) by 2024 through collaborations with credit guarantee agencies Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan Bhd (SJPP) and Credit Guarantee Corp Malaysia Bhd (CGC).

This will spur the acceleration of SME growth as businesses continue to take advantage of the opportunities post-pandemic, in tandem with the economic recovery momentum.

The RM30 billion commitment includes SME financing which will be guaranteed by SJPP and CGC, such as CIMB-CGC Financing Programme, Low Carbon Transition Facility and Pemulih Government Guarantee Scheme. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, CIMB disbursed RM15 billion in financing to support SME between 2019 and 2020.

CIMB group CEO Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad said SME are the backbone of Malaysia’s economy. In 2021, SME contributed about 37.4% to Malaysia’s gross domestic product, including a workforce contribution of 47.8%.

“We are committed to playing a role as a partner to our SME customers and charting their next phase of growth post pandemic. We collaborate with SJPP and CGC in aiding the acceleration of economic activity with a set of guarantee schemes offered to businesses in order to continue to innovate and grow further,” he said in his speech during the signing ceremony between CIMB, SJPP and CGC here today.

Touching on Budget 2023, which will be tabled next month, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, who was present at the ceremony, shared that the budget will maintain its focus on the national economic recovery momentum, in addition to prioritising continuous reform to improve the welfare of the people, as well as improving business competitiveness to ensure that the nation will be prepared to overcome all future obstacles.

“Budget 2023 will also focus on creating a conducive business environment, achieving durability and high competitiveness through innovative technology application, as well as upgrading human capital development and the workforce of the micro, small & medium enterprise (MSME) group in this country,” he remarked.

CIMB group commercial banking deputy CEO Ahmad Shazli Kamarulzaman said banks are eager to lend to SME and the growth of the SME segment has been quite active.

Commenting on SME which prefer non-traditional banking or alternative lending, Ahmad Shazli pointed out that Malaysia’s financial industry has improved in sophistication, which offers further financing options for them.

CIMB group commercial banking SME banking Malaysia head KJ Balan said: “The growth of non-traditional banking has been on the uptrend and they complement the growth and requirements needed by the SME. It’s actually good for them and eventually these customers will somehow graduate (and go) to the banking industry.”