The initiatives will ensure the sector is well-equipped to manage the post-pandemic recovery phase and regain its momentum
By AMIR AZLAN / pic by TMR FILE
MALAYSIA Debt Ventures Bhd (MDV) unveiled five key initiatives to support the development of technology sector, to assist their recovery in the post-pandemic climate.
MDV chairman Khairul Azwan Harun (picture) said the company is dedicated in accelerating its efforts to assist the government in reviving the economy and ensuring the technology sector is well-equipped to manage the post-pandemic recovery phase and regain its momentum.
“One of MDV’s first initiatives is to prolong the moratorium period given to some of the company’s impacted customers while they work to rebuild their companies and re-establish operational stability.
“Since the inception of the Movement Control Order in 2020, MDV has implemented a moratorium that has benefited 66 enterprises with total estimated deferments of RM134.3 million in principal and profit payments,” Khairul said during MDV’s media briefing on driving the technology sector’s post-pandemic growth.
MDV CEO Nizam Mohamed Nadzri added that MDV also had introduced the Liquidity Financing for Technology Start-Ups (LIFTS) facility which is a RM100 million special programme for technology companies that are badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In its first phase, LIFTS has benefitted 64 companies and had approved more than RM74 million in finance and had disbursed approximately RM33.5 million to 35 companies in various technology sectors under the programme.
“To assist these companies, MDV has proposed to the government to expand the LIFTS programme with an additional RM100 million in funds.
“For LIFTS 2.0, it will focus on providing affordable financing to eligible technology start-ups and micro, small and medium enterprises to implement their growth and development plans in achieving their post-pandemic growth potential.
Nizam noted that LIFTS 2.0 will maintain a low-interest rate threshold and financing will be capped at RM10 million per applicant.
He also shared that as part of MDV fun- ding diversification strategy, the company will move away from government-guaranteed bond and sukuk, and look to source its new RM2 billion bond/sukuk programme in November directly from the capital market.
“This will be MDV’s fourth funds, which also marks MDV’s first funds to be raised based on its own standalone credit rating.”
MDV will also form a venture capital company (VCC) and a venture capital management company (VCMC), allowing MDV to better fund early-stage technology-based start-ups and enterprises.
“VCC would provide a more efficient platform to collaborate with various parties for the purpose of setting up Venture Debt Funds as an alternative investment asset class for investors, while VCMC would allow MDV to carry out investment management activities as well as providing management and administrative support services and resources on behalf of the VCC.”
Nizam further explained that another significant initiative planned by MDV is to establish a National Technology Financing Hub at Technology Park Malaysia which focuses on serving the needs of start-ups such as incubators and accelerators to complement the Technology Commercialisation Agency under the Ministry of Science, Tech-ology and Innovation in accelerating technological innovation in the country.
“We envision that the hub will also function as the centre of excellence which will provide support and assistance for them to enhance their skills and technical knowledge as part of the process of growing their business.
“The hub also aims to provide infrastructure support such as shared office spaces and training centres that will contribute to the strengthening of the start-up ecosystem in Malaysia,” he said.