AmBank Expects 15% Growth In SME Loans

AmBank(M) Bhd is expecting a 15% growth from its small and medium-enterprise (SME) loan segment for the financial year 2017 (FY17), driven by the banking group’s Top Four Strategy that it embarked on last year.

Group chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir said growth in the SME loan segment would be supported by the bank’s focus on SMEs and mid-corporations, as well as a gross domestic product growth projection of 4.5% this year.

“In terms of loan growth, we foresee this to be around 6% to 7% for FY17, given the infrastructure projects that have been rolled out and the recovery in the economy. “This is clearly a jump based on our Top Four Strategy initiative that we embarked on,” he told reporters after witnessing the signing ceremony between AmBank and Credit Guarantee Corp Malaysia Bhd (CGC) to continue the SME Portfolio Guarantee Scheme.

The scheme is a partnership between the parties to extend an additional RM200mil financing for eligible SME businesses. Last November, the sixth-largest lender in the country said it expected total loan growth of 5% for its financial year ending March 31, 2017 and it was positive on loan growth for the SME space since it experienced negative loan growth for the segment in 2015. Sulaiman said overall net interest margin (NIM) for the bank should be better since the focus has also been on SMEs and retail banking.

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