CGC confident of approving RM4.6b guarantees and lending this year

PETALING JAYA: Credit Guarantee Corporation Bhd (CGC) is confident of approving RM4.6 billion worth of guarantees and financing benefiting 9,800 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 2019 as it leverages on technology, despite missing its previous year’s target due to the review of infrastructure projects in the country.

President and CEO Datuk Mohd Zamree Mohd Ishak (pix) said CGC is targeting 20% growth in its business income to RM280 million in 2019, from its 2018 target of RM236 million, driven by guarantees, direct financing and asset securitisation deals.

“I’m fairly confident of achieving that (RM4.6 billion target for 2019). We want to reach out more via our iSME (SME online financing and ) platform. That is one of the many ways we can achieve those numbers,” he told SunBiz in an interview recently, adding that CGC will also strengthen its alliance with banks, of which some deals are in the pipeline.

CGC missed its revised RM4.7 billion approved guarantee and financing target in 2018, but met 78% of it at RM3.68 billion.

The guarantee provider had in last year revised its target from RM4.9 billion previously, taking into consideration the latest economic landscape after several infrastructure projects were being reviewed.

Zamree admitted he was disappointed for not being able to achieve its 2018 target. “I know that we’ve tried our best. I understand there are factors beyond control and globally everyone is affected. Taking that into account, we did fairly well,” he said.

He said the broad strategy for CGC this year will be harnessing technology for it to be more effective in its outreach to SMEs, operational excellence, elevating brand awareness and optimising human capital.

Despite the change in government, Zamree said, the way CGC conducts its business remains the same, as SMEs will continue to be the backbone of Malaysia’s economy and, in relation to this, CGC’s role does not change.

“Our vision has not changed for us to be an effective financial institution (FI) dedicated towards promoting the growth and development of competitive and dynamic SMEs. That vision has been there for many years. When CGC was launched in July 1972, we aimed to reach a situation in which poverty or the lack of capital is no barrier to business. That is still relevant today.

“What changes is how we adjust ourselves with emerging trends, with disruptions within the economy as a result of technology,” explained Zamree.

He highlighted that CGC is on track in its five-year plan (2016-2020) and added in the plan in 2017 during a review.

CGC is working to enhance imSME, Malaysia’s first SME online financing and loan platform this year.

“We’re talking to FIs whereby we want to have straight-through processing from imSME to disbursements done by banks to reduce turnaround time. Currently it’s just a referral platform.”

imSME was launched on Feb 9, 2018 and serves as an online one-stop centre for SME loan/financing by providing an array of financing products and services that are offered by participating banks and agencies.

“To date, we have over 400 SMEs that have obtained financing from imSME totalling over RM45 million. It is encouraging,” said Zamree.

He disclosed that in the first quarter of this year, CGC will embark on partnerships with three FIs to provide assistance to those in the car industry, to help women entrepreneurs and to use big data in its lending activities.

Since its establishment, CGC has availed over 460,000 guarantees and financing to SMEs valued at more than RM70 billion.

Source: The Sun Daily

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