Sarawak Energy Inks MoU with Financial Institutions to Provide Financing Solutions for Vendors


Sarawak Energy today entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with three financial institutions namely RHB Islamic Bank Berhad, Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank Malaysia Berhad (SME Bank), and Ikhtiar Factoring Sdn Bhd, to provide financing solutions for local contractors under the energy developer and power utility’s Vendor Financing Programme.

The MoU, which was signed during a virtual ceremony on a online platform, will focus on boosting local contractors’ financial capacity by providing better access to financing facilities as well as strengthening the vendor ecosystem and accelerating vendor transformation. Support from these financial institutions will improve contractors’ working capital and cash flow for more to be eligible to participate in the procurement of Sarawak Energy’s infrastructure development projects.

Group CEO Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili signed on behalf of Sarawak Energy while Managing Director Dato’ Adissadikin Ali signed on behalf of RHB Islamic Bank. SME Bank was represented by Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Aria Putera Ismail; while Executive Director Noor Roslizam Alias signed on behalf of Ikhtiar Factoring.

Sarawak Energy Group CEO, Datu Haji Sharbini said, during the signing, “This strategic collaboration, which is open to all of Sarawak Energy’s eligible vendors, is a focused effort to help eligible vendors mitigate financial constraints when participating in Sarawak Energy’s projects; they will have access to comprehensive and flexible financing facilities that will reinforce their financial standing and encourage more local small medium enterprises or SMEs to participate in our large-scale projects.”

He added, “This is in line with our efforts to support the Sarawak Government’s goal of encouraging the growth and development of local vendors, ensuring their long-term sustainability.”

Dato’ Adissadikin Ali, Managing Director for RHB Islamic Bank said in his speech, “We are happy to be given this opportunity to help empower Small Medium Enterprises or SMEs in Sarawak with access to the right banking solutions and tools - enabling them the opportunity to sharpen their skills and build resilience through joint training programs and by co-organising seminars, roadshows, webinars, and briefings.”

“Many SMEs in various industries continue to require additional assistance to manage and sustain business operations during these challenging times. As such, we continue to proactively engage with our SME customers and this allows us to better understand and anticipate their needs in building business resilience, enabling us to play a more effective role in accelerating their recovery,” he added.

Group President and Chief Executive Officer for SME Bank, Aria Putera Ismail said, “This MOU is a testament of government agencies working together with the spirit of Aspirasi Keluarga Malaysia to revive the SME businesses in this economic recovery stage. This collaboration also further strengthens the cooperation between SME Bank and Sarawak Energy for the development of Sarawak Energy contractors. It will enable the targeted SME contractors to resolve the issues of access to financing and liquidity in order for them to complete projects awarded by Sarawak Energy.”

Executive Director for Ikhtiar Factoring, Noor Roslizam Alias said in his speech, “With this strategic collaboration between Ikhtiar Factoring, Sarawak Energy and other financial institutions, we hope to create more business opportunities for our SMEs and provide them with solutions that suit their financial needs. This initiative will also open up more access for them when it comes to Government or Government-Linked Companies’ or GLC Contracts. This pandemic has been a challenge to our SMEs and we will continue to express our support towards their recovery in these difficult times. This effort will also contribute to business growth hence improving our nation’s journey to economic recovery and definitely we are honoured to be a part of the journey.”

The signing ceremony was also witnessed by James Paul, Sarawak Energy's Senior Vice President for Legal, Land & Company Secretary; Jeffrey Ng Eow Oo, RHB Bank Berhad's Managing Director for Group Community Banking; Nurbayu Kasim Chang, SME Bank's Chief Business Officer for SME Bank; and Khalaif Bin Noor Roslizam, Ikhtiar Factoring's Chief of Credit Management & Trade Finance, as well as members of senior management.

RHB Islamic Bank Berhad, SME Bank, and Ikhtiar Factoring also expressed that they were looking forward to help vendors bridge their funding and collateral gaps, in support of Sarawak Energy’s initiatives to encourage more local participation in the integrated power utility’s contract and procurement activities.

The signing of the MoU builds on a similar MoU that was signed in 2019 with Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad and Syarikat Jaminan Pembiayaan Perniagaan under Sarawak Energy’s Vendor Financing Programme.

Sarawak Energy Group CEO, Datu Haji Sharbini Suhaili (top left) together with Senior Vice President for Legal, Land and Company Secretary, James Paul (top right); together with the other signatories including RHB Islamic Bank’s Managing Director, Dato’ Adissadikin Ali, and Managing Director for Group Community Banking, Jeffrey Ng Eow Oo (bottom left); SME Bank’s Group President and Chief Executive Officer, Aria Putera Ismail and Chief Business Officer, Nurbayu Kasim Chang (bottom right); and Ikhtiar Factoring’s Executive Director, Noor Roslizam Alias and Chief of Credit Management & Trade Finance, Khalaif Bin Noor Roslizam (top center). Also in the photo is Sarawak Energy Senior Vice President for Contract & Procurement, Haji Sulaiman Abdul Hamid (bottom center).