KUALA LUMPUR : SME Bank expects the value of its loan approvals to grow by eight per cent this year from RM1.7 billion approved in 2011.
Managing director Datuk Mohd Radzif Mohd Yunus said the bank sees a lot of opportunities for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in 2012 based on the number of projects in the 12 National Key Economic areas under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
"We are confident of Malaysia's economic growth in 2012 and from that perspective, SMEs can play a major role in these developments," he said.
He added that since the launch of ETP, many SMEs have actively been applying for loans, not just with SME Bank but other financial institutions.
From 2005 to December 31 2011, SME Bank approved 7,546 loan applications with a total amount of RM13.6 billion. Last year, it gave out RM1.7 billion worth of loans while in 2010, it was RM800 million.
Mohd Radzif was speaking to reporters here yesterday after signing a memorandum of understanding with Japan Finance Corporation Micro Business & Individual Unit, a Japanese government agency.
The MOU aims to provide opportunities for both parties to share information and expertise in the development and nurturing of entrepreneurs. It offers SMEs from both countries a chance to expand their network and see potential business opportunities in the two countries.
"Japanese SMEs have shown interest to expand their businesses in East Asia as the Japanese yen appreciates and after the recent tsunami," said JFC-Micro managing executive director Tadaaki Udo.
Mohd Radzif said that hopefully, in a year's time, Malaysian SMEs can penetrate the Japanese market as well. By Roziana Hamsawi