Standard Chartered and Asian Development Bank have signed an agreement to make RM80m (US$20m) available to small and medium sized businesses in Malaysia.

This is ADB’s first supply chain finance deal in Malaysia. It will allow SMEs to gain access to affordable liquidity. SMEs account for 97% of all enterprises and 36% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the country. However, bank loans amount to only 19% of total bank lending, an indication of poor ongoing access to bank credit.

Steven Beck, ADB’s head of trade finance, said, “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 Standard Chartered Malaysia and anticipate this agreement, in a modest way, will contribute to growth and job creation.”

Mahendra Gursahani, managing director and chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia, said, “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.”