2020 stimulus: Bank Negara allocates RM3.3b for SMEs

A general view of the headquarters of Bank Negara Malaysia. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A general view of the headquarters of Bank Negara Malaysia. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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GEORGE TOWN, Feb 27 — Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will set aside RM3.3 billion for small medium enterprise (SME) financing as part of the 2020 Economic Stimulus Package launched today in response to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.

In a statement, the central bank said SMEs may access three of its financing facilities, namely the Special Relief Facility (SRF), Agrofood Facility (AF) and SME Automation and Digitalisation Facility (ADF).

A total of RM2 billion will be allocated under SRF to alleviate short-term cash flow problems faced by SMEs affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Each SME may apply for up to RM1 million in loans with a maximum tenure of 5.5 years and at a financing rate or 3.75 per cent per annum.

AF has a total RM1 billion allocation with the aim of increasing food production for Malaysia and for export purposes.

The maximum financing is at RM5 million for each SME with a maximum tenure of eight years and the same financing rate as SRF.

The ADF has RM300 million funds to incentivise SMEs to automate processes and digitalise operations to increase productivity and efficiency.

Each SME is eligible to obtain maximum financing of RM3 million with a maximum tenure of 10 years and a financing rate of four per cent per annum.

All three facilities are available via participating financial institutions that included commercial banks, Islamic banks and development financial institutions from March 6 onwards.

Participating financial institutions may obtain coverage from the Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia (CGC) for these facilities, it added.

BNM said financial instructions will also provide RM200 billion of business and home financing to eligible SMEs and households generally.

“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,” it said.

It said 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.

The public may contact BNM’s Telelink at 1-300-88-5465 for assistance or more information.

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