Agrobank eyes RM1b loan growth for FY2020

Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali and Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub witness the partnership signing ceremony between Petronas and Agrobank in Kuala Lumpur January 28, 2020. ― Bernama pic KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28 ― Agrobank, formerly known as Bank Pertanian Malaysia Bhd, eyes a minimum of RM1.0 billion loan growth for the financial year ending December 31, 2020 (FY20) over last year’s RM11.75 billion loan disbursement.

Khadijah Iskandar, the covering president and chief executive officer of the government-owned agricultural development bank, said for the past five years, the bank had been growing by an average of close to 10 per cent, although the banking sector was growing by only three to four per cent.

“The bank would continue to focus on strengthening its value chain financing to support various activities related to agriculture from upstream, mainstream as well as downstream.

“As a bank which understands the needs of the country’s agricultural sector, we are are also committed to empowering the Bottom 40 (B40) target group via our structured micro-financing based on the 3A objectives of accessibility, availability and affordability.

“At present, Agrobank has over 11 micro-finance programmes nationwide covering paddy cultivation, chilli fertiliser, oil palm, dairy cows, pineapple and swiftlet farming, among others,” she told Bernama on the sidelines of a partnership signing ceremony with Petronas here today.

Under the partnership, Petronas is allocating RM100 million to be managed by Agrobank for the financing of B40 micro-entrepreneurs in the agricultural and agro-based sectors.

This collaboration, she said, will further expand Agrobank’s reach to enhance financial access for agro-based communities.

Khadijah noted that the bank’s journey to embed principles of value-based intermediation (VBI) into its business is in line, and also shares similarities, with the government’s Shared Prosperity Vision to empower the B40 economy and elevate their social status in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, chief business officer Ahmad Shahril Mohd Shariff said the bank’s non-performing loans (NPL) ratio remains manageable at 4.3 per cent, much better than the double-digit figures five to 10 years ago.

“As a development bank, we would continue to target loan growth, but at the same time would emphasise on the quality of assets,” he said.

He said 85 per cent of its funds are from its depositors, with the balance from government funding. ― Bernama

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