KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd expects to achieve a loan growth of 7% to 8% next year, slightly lower than this year’s target, amid the challenging business environment.
Acting chief executive officer, Mohd Muazzam Mohamed, said the bank was on track to achieve its loan growth target of about 8% this year, predominantly from consumer banking segment.
“Taking cognisant of next year’s challenges, our loan growth is expected to be slightly lower.
“Despite the challenging business environment, our existing established sales infrastructure particularly consumer segment remained strong to support the growth,” he said after the graduation ceremony of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SME) Development Programme, which is fully sponsored by Bank Islam in partnership with the Centre for University-Industry Collaboration (CUIC) of Universiti Utara Malaysia.
He noted that despite the lower gross domestic product (GDP) growth projection at below 5% this year, the consumer segment continued to be the main contributor to economic growth.
“Without the consumer segment, the GDP could have been lower. Bank Islam is predominantly in consumer banking, and fuelled by this segment growth, we are confident of achieving 7%-8% growth next year,” said Muazzam.
On the SME Development Programme, he said it was an investment by the bank to assist entrepreneurs in creating jobs and economic opportunities by providing greater access to training, education, financing and business support services.
About 33 SME graduates had completed the seven-week face-to-face programme.
Through the programme, selected Bank Islam customers are offered courses that cover topics such as financial management, sales and marketing, operation, syariah and corporate governance, aimed at equipping customers in SME segment with the necessary skills and knowledge to better manage their businesses.
“As we know, among the challenges faced by financial institutions in giving financing to SMEs are insufficient control of operation and financial management. The programme is hoped to elevate their business control, besides helping them to do networking,” he said. — Bernama