Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) expects its Retail Small and Medium Enterprises (RSME) loan portfolio to grow by 27 per cent to RM28 billion this year, given the tremendous demand from regional markets.
Maybank Group Head of Community Financial Services (CFS) Datuk Lim Hong Tat said the projection was also supported by the strong outlook in the region for SMEs.
Last year, total RSME loans grew by over 35 per cent to RM22.1 billion from the RM16.31 billion recorded as at end-2014.
Of these, loans from the regional markets excluding Malaysia, also rose 35 per cent to RM11.9 billion from RM8.81 billion in 2014.
Lim said Maybank would continue to engage with the community via non-financial initiatives, including capacity and capacity building programmes, and to date, more than 6,000 SMEs nationwide had benefited from it.
Maybank has progressively introduced its RSME model in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.
Asked if Maybank would expand it to Myanmar, Lim said the bank had just entered the country and needs more time to grow.
In line with the growth target, he said Maybank would strengthen its micro-credit financing business in Malaysia to assist small entrepreneurs, and support the government in efforts to raise the living standards of the lower income group.
He said the business is expected to increase by 78 per cent to RM50 million this year from RM28 million in 2015.
Maybank has disbursed RM36.23 million over the last three years to micro business, benefiting over 4,500 customers.