BUSINESS

Alliance Islamic Bank offers RM400 mln financing to help SMEs succeed in Halal sector

03/11/2022 01:53 PM

By Zairina Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 (Bernama) -- Alliance Islamic Bank Bhd (AIS) is providing RM400 million shariah-compliant financing this year through its Halal in One (HIO) programme, a halal ecosystem that offers financial and non-financial support to help business owners grow and succeed in the halal space.

AIS chief executive officer (CEO) Rizal Il-Ehzan Fadil Azim said the programme offers end-to-end halal certification support, advisory, shariah-compliant funding, assistance to digitise small and medium enterprises’ (SMEs) business, and global market access to businesses seeking to expand their customer reach in the halal segment.

HIO also helps businesses obtain customised financing for certification costs, premises renovation, equipment hire purchase and working capital, he said.

“With the global halal market expected to grow rapidly from US$3 trillion currently to US$7.7 trillion by 2030, we found that many businesses were aware of the opportunity that they could seize to boost their sales.

“However, business owners face multiple challenges when venturing into the halal segment, such as capital constraints, intense competition, outdated technology, limited business network, and lack of experience in obtaining and maintaining halal certification,” Rizal Il-Ehzan told Bernama recently. (US$1=RM4.74)

According to him, SMEs typically do not seek halal certification due to a lack of proper understanding, perceived complexity of the process, and financial limitations.

“Together with our diverse partners, the HIO programme can help SMEs begin their halal journey,” he said.

Among some of the partners are Halal Development Corporation Bhd and HQC Commerce, which help businesses generate high-quality leads through initiatives such as their on-ground events.

Rizal Il-Ehzan said the programme, which is centred around three value propositions (namely Set Up Halal, Grow Halal, and Fund Halal), supports AIS’ vision to be the preferred banking partner of business owners and communities.

“The three value propositions of HIO guide our partner selection and expand its ecosystem of experts. HIO allows businesses to tap into the halal market via our services that are tailored to their needs,” he said.

AIS has so far collaborated with nine partners and supported more than 100 SMEs since the establishment of HIO in 2020.

One of the SMEs for which AIS has helped obtain the halal certificate is Signature Market, a homegrown lifestyle fast-moving consumer goods brand.

Signature Market CEO and co-founder Edwin Wang said being halal certified helps provide assurance to the company’s customers and increase its appeal to a wider target segment.

“We believe being halal certified will enable us to gain a higher level of trust and credibility in the market too.

“By enlisting in the Halal in One programme, we received guidance and advice throughout the halal certification process, helping us to better prepare for an audit with JAKIM (Department of Islamic Development Malaysia),” he said.

In the financial year ended March 31, 2022 (FY2022), AIS’ HIO financing approvals increased five times year-on-year to RM254 million versus RM43.3 million in FY2021, with 46 per cent of the financing approvals for new-to-bank customers.

In addition, the bank provides other financing options for business owners, especially micro-enterprises in the halal industry, to meet their financing needs quickly.

They can apply for shariah-compliant financing of up to RM1 million conveniently and easily through Alliance Bank’s Digital SME at https://www.alliancebank.com.my/digitalsme.

The simplified digital application process enables business owners to apply and track the status conveniently at anytime, from anywhere.

Businesses that are keen to find out more or apply for AIS’ HIO programme can head over to https://www.alliancebank.com.my/halal-in-one.

-- BERNAMA


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