Wednesday, May 24, 2006

SME Bank has come up with five loan schemes specially designed to help different types of small- and medium- scale enterprises flourish in the years ahead, it was announced yesterday.
With the exception of SME Professional which was launched in December last year, the new loans are SME Start-Up, SME Procurement, SME Franchise and SME Global.

Managing director Datuk Azmi Abdullah said the five products were a result of extensive research by the bank to ensure that they were different from the usual offerings in the market.

“These unique products are actually to fulfill our mandate to take care of customers under the SME category,” he said in an interview.

Azmi said Bumiputera SMEs are especially encouraged to apply for these loans.

These loans will be able to cater for the business development needs of all its target groups – micro, small and medium businesses, he said.

After evaluating the SME funding scenario seriously, Azmi said the bank felt that it should focus more on specific customer segments.

“That’s why we come up with these five products,” he explained.

For example, the SME Professional loan aimed at giving financial assistance to professionals like doctors, consultants and pharmacists, had received good response from the market, Azmi said.

The SME Start-up caters for SMEs entering into any start-up project ready for commercialisation, while SME Procurement is a pre- and post-contract implementation financing for vendors who have already secured contracts, especially with governement-linked companies (GLCs).

SME Franchise offers SMEs involved in the franchise industry while SME Global focuses on export-oriented companies that have linkage with strategic partners for global coverage.

Azmi said with the launch of the five products, SME Bank will now be able to cover from the time when the entrepreneurs started out until they moved up the value chain to become export-oriented entities in the global market.

Source: Business Times Malaysia (link opens in a new window)