StanChart, ADB ink RM80m finance deal

KUALA LUMPUR — Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Bhd (StanChart) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed an RM80 million supply chain finance agreement that will benefit small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia.

The deal is ADB’s first supply chain financing agreement in the country through a financial institution. The partnership will enable SMEs to gain better access to working capital through this programme.

“We are delighted to be partnering with ADB to promote positive social and economic development in Malaysia. This partnership is a testament to Standard Chartered’s strength in trade finance and our commitment to connect communities of merchants across our key markets,” StanChart managing director and chief executive officer Mahendra Gursahani said in a statement yesterday.

He added that StanChart is well positioned to help SMEs capture business opportunities and expand across markets.

“Our local expertise, vast network and holistic client-centric approach in banking the ecosystem of our clients, supports them in optimising their supply chain and provides them with enhanced access to end-to-end working capital.”

Supply chain financing provides SMEs with working capital at affordable rates. This helps them to grow and also facilitates the acquisition of raw materials for the production of goods that are sold to their corporate clients. It is an effective vehicle to support SMEs, a market segment that is underserved but critical for growth and jobs for the Malaysian market.

In Malaysia, SMEs account for 97% of all enterprises and 36% of gross domestic product (GDP). SME bank loans make up an average of 11.6% of GDP and 18.7% of total bank lending in most of developing Asia.

This indicates poor ongoing access to bank credit, which is a major barrier to the survival and growth of SMEs.

“The SME sector is a great source of strength for the Malaysian economy, which is why ADB is making its first foray into supply chain financing in the country. We are pleased to partner with

StanChart and anticipate this agreement, in a modest way, will contribute to growth and job creation,” said ADB trade finance head Steven Beck.

Backed by its AAA credit rating, ADB’s Supply Chain Finance Programme (SCFP) complements its successful Trade Finance Programme. The SCFP shares risk with partner banks and improves liquidity within supply chains, mostly for SMEs.

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