Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Berhad (EXIM Bank) targets to grow lending to Malaysian companies expanding in the Philippines and provide financing for Filipino companies buying Malaysian products.
EXIM Bank of Malaysia Vice President and Head of Corporate Banking Baharuddin Muslim said they are in the Philippines to support Malaysian companies that need capital for their overseas expansion. They also extend financing to foreign buyers or importers of Malaysian products.
EXIM Bank, a government-owned development financial institution and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Minister of Finance Inc. facilitates Malaysia’s global businesses by providing banking and credit insurance products and services.
He said Malaysians are optimistic about the local business climate because the Philippine economy is quickly growing and there is political stability.
We help Malaysian companies when they go abroad because they may face difficulty in borrowing in host countries. We also lend to other buyers, as long as they buy from Malaysia. Our total loans in the Philippines is still negligible. The Philippines is an emerging market. Over time, we have a good chance of building a good loan portfolio in the Philippines, he told the BusinessMirror.
He said loans to foreign companies range from $500,000 to $3 million for those starting up their own business. It can go as high as $200 million.
We lend to Malaysian companies with contracting jobs in the Philippines, like the Malaysian contractor of the Grand Monaco [project]. We visited the site last Thursday, he said.
We also lend to a Filipino company, a distributor of Saji. Saji is a Malaysian brand. The owner of the company is Filipino, he added.
They also aim to support Malaysian palm oil companies wanting to explore opportunities in Mindanao.
[Undisclosed clients] are eyeing a plantation in Southern part of the Philippines. One of Malaysia’s businesses is supplying palm-oil seeds and machineries. There’s a very positive upside potential for the palm oil industry. If they become successful in enticing businesses here, naturally, we will also grow our lending business, he said.
Malaysia’s largest bank, Maybank, has already established its presence in the Philippines.
Maybank, one of the leading Asean banks in cross-border venture, also facilitates the entry of Malaysian companies in the Philippines.
When asked about the competition with Maybank, he replied We can complement with them and at times compete. There are companies which have already established relationships in Maybank Malaysia. When they come here, it’s easy for them to a develop relationship with Maybank Philippines. But for those who are not familiar with Maybank Malaysia, when they come here, they may have difficulty banking with Maybank Philippines. We can be guarantors for them to be able to borrow from Maybank Philippines. We are competitive enough and it is up to them to decide whether to borrow or not from us, he explained.
EXIM Bank’s clientele consists of large corporations, small and medium enterprises, foreign governments and foreign companies covering sectors, ranging from trading to manufacturing and infrastructure.