CIMB Islamic offers RM100m SME financing to be halal-ready

Wong Swee May – The Edge Financial Daily

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd has unveiled its latest proposition in supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to grow their businesses in the global halal market.

Through CIMB HalalBizReady, the proposition provides financing packages that help businesses become compatible with the requirements of halal certification by getting their premises, operations or supply chain to be in line with those requirements, said CIMB Islamic.

“CIMB HalalBizReady is part of CIMB’s refreshed SME proposition’s suite of solutions comprising three main pillars: SME Transact, SME Financing and collaborations via industry SME Partners.

“Apart from business financing, CIMB HalalBizReady also gives customers access to a wider global and regional market via the CIMB Trade Club platform, and access to the expertise of CIMB’s halal-based strategic partnerships which aim to facilitate businesses to become halal-ready for further growth,” the bank said in a statement.

CIMB Islamic chief executive officer (CEO) Ahmad Shahriman Mohd Shariff said the RM100 million financing support is part of the group’s RM15 billion commitment to SMEs, announced earlier this year.

“This reflects our commitment to growing Islamic banking assets, with 82% of CIMB’s SME financing growth in 2019 year to date attributable to syariah-compliant businesses.

“Asean alone has 242 million Muslims, providing a huge demand pool that is accessible to these businesses through CIMB’s strong regional network and membership of the CIMB Trade Club,” he added.

The CIMB Trade Club is an exclusive digital e-commerce ecosystem encompassing 14 global banks whose network spans over 50 countries, and is aimed at empowering member companies to promote their businesses and expand their markets globally.

This is further supported by CIMB’s SME Transact pillar, providing cash management services, as well as potential reward opportunities of up to 2% hibah per annum for current accounts and fee waivers on online business banking.

Also, under the SME Financing pillar, eligible syariah-compliant SMEs have access to financing of between RM10,000 and RM1 million, 70% of which will be guaranteed by Credit Guarantee Corp Malaysia Bhd (CGC), adding further convenience to businesses seeking to expand into the halal market, said CIMB Islamic.

“Through CIMB HalalBizReady, SMEs can also benefit from CIMB’s knowledge partners which provide guidance and training for the SMEs to get their products and services ready for the growing halal market across the globe,” the bank added.

CIMB Islamic said the SME landscape offers a huge potential for halal business growth. As of 2018, about  90% of SMEs in Malaysia were not halal-certified, due to various reasons such as the lack of understanding and knowledge of the process, as well as the cost of certifying premises and the supply chain, it noted.

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