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RETAIL BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Malaysia

Agrobank eyes agriculture downstream activity

Agrobank Bhd is eyeing growth in downstream activities in the agriculture sector as part of its strategy in diversifying loan portfolio for next year.


Its President and Chief Executive Officer Wan Mohd Fadzmi Wan Othman said the bank, formerly known as Bank Pertanian, had for the last 40 years been conventional in its approach to financing.

"We have been traditionally involved mainly in primary agriculture, with the biggest exposure in palm oil at about 28 per cent. So, we need to move away from this but still remain within the agricultural space.

"We want to go further downstream. Anything that involves agriculture now, we would like to become involved," he told Bernama.

Agrobank has been heavily involved in the production side of agriculture and is looking at going more into food services supply involving wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers and food packaging.

The bank which aims to be fully Islamic by 2015, is also looking at introducing more products catering to bigger working capital for small businesses.

Apart from existing fixed and personal loans, the bank plans to introduce trade finance and overdrafts as well as launch its own internet banking by the first quarter next year, said Wan Mohd Fadzmi.

Having joined the bank six months ago, he said internet banking would provide a platform to mobilise funding for the financial institution, which has catered to financing asset.

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