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Hong Leong’s Got RM200 Mil Reserved For Small Businesses In M’sia

Just yesterday, Hong Leong Bank Berhad (HLB) announced a strategic partnership with Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Berhad (CGC) to offer small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia financing of up to RM200 million through their existing Portfolio Guarantee scheme. The scheme aims to help SMEs without adequate collateral or financial track records obtain much needed loan facilities to help their businesses grow. Through this scheme, CGC provides guarantees on behalf of the SMEs for such facilities. CGC has helped greenlight close to 450,000 loan facilities worth over RM63.7 billion since its inception in 1972. With HLB agreeing to participate in the scheme, CGC has added yet another name to its list of partners that include Maybank, CIMB Bank, and RHB. “As a community bank, we are proud to support the growth of SMEs in Malaysia and we aim to be their one stop business management solutions provider for all their business needs,” said Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and CEO of HLB. “It is important that we extend the relevant support to SMEs so that they can focus on optimising their opportunities while running their business efficiently,” he added. “As part of our aim to be a one-stop business management solutions provider, the SMEs who secure financing from HLB through this scheme, will also have access to our business management tools such as the recently launched ConnectFirst.” HLB’s ConnectFirst service is an advanced digital banking channel that equips companies with the ability to easily conduct their banking and business management tasks such as account management, transactions, liquidity management, and e-procurement. The ConnectFirst service also comes with access to an embedded human resource solutions platform provided by Kakitangan.com. This platform will allow employees to easily manage their payroll accounts, KWSP payouts, as well as Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (LHDN) and Pertubuhan Keselamatan Sosial (PERKESO) submissions. Speaking on the partnership, Domenic also noted the value of local SMEs in growing Malaysia’s economy, and highlighted CGC’s efforts in helping build the local SME community. “We have great pleasure in working with CGC in support of the SMEs and congratulate them for their various programmes in uplifting the SME sector,” he said. “Hong Leong Bank remains committed towards supporting the growth of Malaysia’s SME segment, in helping SMEs achieve their business objectives and in turn contributing to the nation’s future economic growth,” added Domenic. CGC President and CEO Datuk Mohd Zamree Mohd Ishak also expressed his delight with the new agreement. “We are pleased to ink our maiden partnership with Hong Leong Bank, which shares the same objective as we do—assist SMEs in achieving their business goals by addressing their financial needs,” he said.
“With this collaboration, SMEs will now have more options to consider to access financing for their business.”
He also announced that the scheme would be made available through imSME, an online financing and loan referral platform for SMEs created by CGC themselves. The platform matches eligible SMEs to the most suitable financing options offered by participating banks. Business owners who wish to apply for a loan facility through imSME can do so at the official website in four simple steps:
  1. Provide imSME with the details of your financial needs.
  2. Describe the nature of your business.
  3. Register for an account with imSME.
  4. Submit your application and wait for approval from a financial institution.
### All this acknowledges the robust growth of Malaysia’s SME ecosystem, with reports last year demonstrating how local SMEs were on track to cover 41% of the nation’s GDP, and how they also collectively outpaced Malaysia’s average economic growth by 1.4% from 2011 to 2015. In another statement, Prime Minister Najib said that he expected exports by local SMEs to increase by US$38billion and create 60,000 new jobs by the year 2025.
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Feature Image Credit: Hong Leong Bank Berhad