By BERNAMA / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
BANK Negara Malaysia (BNM) is allocating RM3.3 billion worth of financing facilities under BNM’s “Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)” to provide support for SMEs in sustaining business operations, safeguarding jobs and encouraging domestic investments.
In a statement yesterday, the central bank said the allocation is to assist businesses and households impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.
It said the allocation will be spread out among three financing facilities, namely Special Relief Facility (SRF) with an allocation of RM2 billion, Agrofood Facility (AF) with RM1 billion and SME Automation and Digitalisation Facility (ADF) amounting to RM300 million.
BNM said the allocation under the SRF will be used to help alleviate short-term cashflow problems faced by SMEs affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.
“Eligible SMEs can obtain financing of up to RM1 million for a tenure of up to 5.5 years, including a six-month grace period. The financing rate is capped at 3.75% per annum. The SRF is available from March 6 to Dec 31, 2020,” it said.
The AF facility will be used to increase food production for Malaysia and export purposes, and eligible SMEs can obtain financing of up to RM5 million for a tenure of up to eight years.
“The financing rate is capped at 3.75% per annum. The AF is available from March 6, 2020, onwards,” it said.
Meanwhile, BNM said the ADF will be used to incentivise SMEs to automate processes and digitalise operations to improve productivity and efficiency.
“Eligible SMEs can obtain financing of up to RM3 million for a tenure of up to 10 years. The financing rate is capped at 4% per annum and the facility is available from March 6 to Dec 31, 2020.
“Interested SMEs can apply directly to the participating financial institutions (PFIs) which comprise commercial banks, Islamic banks and development financial institutions regulated by BNM. They may also apply online through the business financing referral platform at imsme.com.my,” it said.
The central bank said the PFIs can obtain guarantee coverage from Credit Guarantee Corp Malaysia (CGC) or Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan (SJPP) for these facilities.
It added that financial institutions have also committed to supporting affected businesses and households whereby broader access to financing continues to be readily available.
The financial institutions expect to approve about RM200 billion of business and home financing to eligible SMEs and households in 2020.
“BNM welcomes efforts by financial institutions to proactively assist viable businesses and households that face temporary financial constraints to restructure and reschedule their financing facilities, including through repayment moratoriums.
“Insurance and takaful operators have also affirmed that policyholders will be covered for hospital admissions and treatment related to Covid-19 at both public and private hospitals,” it said. — Bernama