Malaysia’s central bank gets soft loans approved for SMEs

Bank Negara Malaysia has facilitated around RM12.06 billion (US$2.9 billion) worth of soft loans for SMEs which have been approved by local banks.
By: | June 14, 2021

Finance minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the soft loans will benefit 25,605 SMEs through funds such as Special Relief Facility (SRF), SME Automation and Digitalisation Facility (ADF), All Economic Sectors (AES) Facility and Agrofood Facility (AF). 

“As of May 28, 2021, RM12.06 billion (US$2.9 billion) of soft loans funds operated by Bank Negara Malaysia for SMEs have been approved by the local banks and agreed to be accepted by the businesses. 

“Even though the SRF funds have been completely utilised, SMEs can still apply other types of schemes under BNM funds such as ADF, AES and AF. They could also seek financial assistance at other platforms such as at imSME,” he said when presenting the 55th Implementation and Coordination Unit Between National Agencies (LAKSANA) report on Facebook. 

In addition, RM5.08 billion (US$1.2 billion) has been allocated for almost one million micro-SMEs through the Geran Khas Prihatin (GKP or Prihatin Special Grant) in three disbursements since the pandemic started, the minister said.  

READ: Malaysia’s unemployment rate falls to 4.6% in April

The allocation was announced through the Strategic Programme to Empower the People and Economy (PEMERKASA) initiative on March 17, which saw RM1,000 (US$242.6) given as a once-off to 1 million micro-SMEs. An additional RM500 (US$121.3) allocated as was announced during PEMERKASA+ on May 31, he said. 

The minister added that payments will be credited directly to the bank accounts registered with the GKP system and applicants can check the approval status from June 8, 2021, according to The Malaysia Reserve.