Bank Islam to disburse RM1 bil loans to SMEs this year

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 28): Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, the wholly-owned banking entity of BIMB Holdings Bhd (BIMB), aims to disburse RM1 billion worth of loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) within the financial year ending Dec 31, 2019 compared with more than RM500 million last year.

BIMB chief executive officer Mohd Muazzam Mohamed said the increase in loan disbursement for SMEs would increase the group’s SME portfolio by between 10 percent and 12 percent.

“In terms of product offerings, the board has already approved two new products. One (of them) is targeted at business enterprise, which we plan to launch soon,” he told reporters after announcing the group’s half-year financial performance ended June 30, 2019 here today.

To date, the group has 4,500 SME clientele.

“We started our focus on the SME portfolio last year when we reorganised ourselves to be able to manage the portfolio even better,” said Mohd Muazzam.

Meanwhile, he said the group’s net income margins have compressed slightly, arising from the overnight policy rate (OPR) cut in May.   

“Any OPR cut will have effect on the profitability of the bank. At this point in time, we are hopeful that the OPR will be maintained towards the end of the year. We will see how it goes,” said Mohd Muazzam.   

He said the group has allocated RM300 million for its digitalisation exercise for the next three years.

“The bulk of it will be spent this year and next year to ensure that our infrastructure is up to a certain level for us to be able to move forward — to lead in terms of technology infrastructure and digital offerings,” he said.