Hong Leong Bank allocates RM2.5b for SMEs

KUALA LUMPUR: Hong Leong Bank Bhd has allocated RM2.5bil for the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for its next financial year starting July 1.  

Group managing director and CEO Domenic Fuda said SMEs played a huge role in contributing to Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP) and this is expected to grow further in the future.  

“SMEs currently contribute 37% to the GDP and is expected to exceed 40% in the future.  

“Hence, it is important for these SMEs to have the right tools for their business, especially in this digital age,” he told a press conference after the launch of Hong Leong Digital Business Solutions on Wednesday.

The Hong Leong Digital Business Solutions service offers five business tools, namely HL ConnectsLite, which connects the SMEs via a single platform, Biztory (e-accounting and invoice solutions), Kakitangan (human resources platform), SimpleTax (online tax tool) and Digital Advert (outdoor digital screening at over 3,500 screens nationwide). 

The price for Digital Advert starts from as low as RM288 per week in three main areas ? the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor.  

“These services will enable them to be more competitive, agile and efficient in the market,” said Fuda.  

Hong Leong Group SME banking general manager Terrance Teoh said that a total of RM1 billion was allocated for SMElite, a programme which support SME expansions in property financing and working capital requirements. 

"We are targeting 5,000 SMEs for the first 12 months," he said. 

This scheme is guaranteed by Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Bhd through the Portfolio Guarantee Scheme,” he said.  

SMElite enables qualified SMEs to secure a loan up to RM5 million for property purchases and refinancing together with working capital requirements by up to 150% margin financing.

“We believe the SMElite scheme will be attractive to our SME customers who are looking to expand their businesses physically and are looking at real estate solutions.  

“Customers will not only be able to acquire the relevant property for expansion purposes, but they will also have access to working capital to kickstart their expansion expenses such as relocation, renovation and other related costs,” said Teoh.

Among those present were Bryan Soong, founder of Biztory; Datuk Vimmy Yap, founder of SimpleTax; Charles Sik, managing director, personal financial services, Hong Leong Bank; Irnyza Ngah, chief operating officer, Hong Leong Islamic Bank; Datuk Mohd Zamree Mohd Ishak, president & CEO, Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia.

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Domenic Fuda


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