JBIC has extended a two-step Untied US$100 million loan aimed at providing finance to SMEs in Malaysia through RHB Bank.The greenfield, energy, electrical and electronics, and automotive sectors are the primary targets of the loan.This loan is a synchronised and coordinated fiscal and monetary response from the Japanese Government through the Japan Bank for International Cooperation or JBIC mainly towards supporting the SME sector following the announcement in March that the Japanese Government would tap its US$1 trillion foreign exchange reserves to finance business activities abroad and alleviate the effects of the sharp plunge in economic activities.According to Mr. Fumio Hoshi, Executive Director of JBIC, the loan is JBIC’s response to the financial crisis to support regional liquidity and help stabilise the financial systems in the ASEAN region such as Malaysia, which aims to provide funding access to the SME sector."This focus to explore with external parties such as JBIC to develop our own medium to longer term foreign currency stability is in line with the RHB Banking Group’s direction to expand into regional markets. Now, the cost of borrowing has gone up and US Dollar lenders have diminished in the market. Therefore, this 3rd Untied Loan from JBIC this time carries a completely different meaning from the previous Untied loan," said Datuk Azlan Zainol, Chairman of RHB Bank Berhad.
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