BNM sets up RM1b facility to support high-tech, innovation-driven SMEs hit by Covid-19

BNM sets up RM1b facility to support high-tech, innovation-driven SMEs hit by Covid-19
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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 15): Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) is establishing a RM1 billion High Tech Facility-National Investment Aspirations (HTF-HIA), as announced under Budget 2021, to provide additional assistance for high-tech and innovation-driven SMEs affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Eligible SMEs include those in advanced manufacturing and services sectors that are aligned to deliver national strategic long-term development goals as outlined in the NIAs including those in the electric and electronic (E&E), aerospace, pharmaceuticals and ICT sectors, as well as research and development (R&D)-driven firms supporting the development of emerging technologies.

Also eligible for the facility are SME project participants in key government programmes involved in research, development and innovation for critical technologies identified under national blueprints.

These include projects ranging from IR4.0-related technologies, to green technology and biotechnology, to ensure their continuity and completion of existing projects.

Some of the projects identified by the central bank include Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC)'s Global Acceleration and Innovation Network, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI)'s National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) and R&D Fund, and Malaysia Robotics, Innovation and IoT (MARii)'s technology partners involved in the design and development of solutions related to IR4.0 technologies.

Eligible SMEs can obtain financing of up to RM1 million for working capital, up to RM5 million for capital expenditure financing, or a combination of working capital and capex of up to RM5 million for a tenure of up to seven years.

"This facility is offered at a financing rate of up to 3.5% per annum for financing without guarantee or up to 5% per annum inclusive of guarantee fee (with guarantee coverage by Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Berhad ie CGC)," said BNM in a statement.

Interested SMEs can apply directly to participating financial institutions, which comprise commercial banks, Islamic banks and development financial institutions regulated by BNM.

Applications can be made through their respective websites or branches from Dec 15, 2020 to Dec 31, 2021, or until full utilisation, whichever is earlier.

For more details on the features of this facility and the list of participating financial institutions, click here.

Tan Choe Choe