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SME Bank Northern Region Mini Xcess Facilitates Access To Financing

IPOH : 23 March 2017

IPOH : 23 March 2017 – SME Bank continues to facilitate access to financing for SME entrepreneurs with the kick-off of SME Bank Mini XCESS for the Northern Region today.  The fourth to be held this year, SME Bank targets to approve financing worth RM369 million to eligible companies for their business expansion.

The target is in line with the economic opportunities in the northern area and particularly in the state of Perak.  The Northern Corridor Economic Region currently contributes 5.8% to the country’s GDP with a total investment of RM79.92 billion accumulated since its establishment in 2008; aiming to increase the contribution to RM87.3 billion by end of this year. With the high amount of investment, the opportunities for SMEs to expand their business mainly in the development area such as Lembah Chuping, Greater Kamunting, Kedah Rubber City and the Taman Teknologi dan Sains Kedah is widely open.

In Perak specifically, the market offers vast opportunities in various key industries such as automotive, education hub, agriculture, eco-tourism and others.  These industries have attracted many foreign investments to the state and according to MIDA report, foreign investment in manufacturing sector reached a total of RM3.9 billion for 2016 and the top three investors came from Taiwan at RM421 million, Japan, RM147 million and Finland with RM45 million.

SME Bank Mini XCESS is an annual event held with the aim to reach out to the SME entrepreneurs directly.  During last year’s Outreach Programme, two sessions were organised by SME Bank’s Northern Regional Centre which attracted almost 300 entrepreneurs.  Through this programme, the Bank approved RM132 million worth of financing.  SME Bank Mini XCESS programme will be continued at another two selected locations which is Sabah on 31 March 2017 and Sarawak on 11 April 2017 respectively.

As at 31 December 2016 SME Bank Northern Regional Centre has recorded a financing portfolio worth over RM694 million and has assisted more than 974 customers.  This indicates that the economic activities in Northern Region are vibrant and it provides abundance of opportunities for SME businesses and its ecosystem to grow.  The region has its own economic strength ranging from tourism, manufacturing (mineral & metal) and services.

SME Bank Northern Regional Centre operates with seven network of branches namely Ipoh Enterprise Centre, Alor Setar Enterprise Centre, Seberang Jaya Enterprise Centre, Kangar Enterprise Centre, Bayan Baru Business Centre, Kedah UTC and Perak UTC.

In the effort to improve its customer service delivery, SME Bank has recently launched the “Book Your Banker” facility in its Mobile Application enabling entrepreneurs who are interested to apply for financing to register online, set the date of the appointment and choose the branch of their choice.  SME Bank’s Mobile App can be downloaded through App Store or Play Store under the name SME Bank.

SME Bank’s commitment in assisting the SMEs to grow and remain competitive have been recognized internationally when the Bank became the first Development Finance Institution in Malaysia and ASEAN to be a member of The Montreal Group or TMG.  As a member of TMG, SME Bank will have access to best practices on multiple areas such as governance, risk management, human capital development, delivery channels, product and service innovations, and other international standards for potential adoption.

Since its establishment in 2005, SME Bank has approved a total financing amounting RM26 billion and assisted more than 15,000 SME entrepreneurs.  The Bank’s Upward Migration programme has successfully upgraded more than 888 SME businesses to a higher level.  Meanwhile, CEDAR or Centre for Entrepreneur Development and Research Sdn. Bhd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SME Bank, has successfully coached more than 34,000 participants (@Dec 2016) in various SME entrepreneurial training programmes.

The SME Bank Mini XCESS for Northern Region was officiated by YB. Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Chuan, Minister II, Ministry of International Trade and Industry.  Other MITI agencies such as SME Corp., MIDA, MPC, Matrade and MIDF aslo participated as strategic partners for the event.