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SDFC extends repayment period for SME loans

27 August 2020, MVT 14:41
SDFC SMESME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC) in the capital city of Male'. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/MIHAARU
27 August 2020, MVT 14:41

SME Development Finance Corporation (SDFC), on Wednesday, extended the repayment period for loans until the end of 2020.

The SME bank had introduced a six-month moratorium on loan repayment to minimize the negative financial impacts on borrowers. The moratorium is set to expire in September.

SDFC Managing Director Ahmed Zinad revealed that the decision was finalised in response to the ongoing economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The aforementioned extension will only be applicable to loans that SDFC has already issued.

Minister of Economic Development Fayyaz Ismail welcomed SDFC's decision and expressed hope that other major banks would introduce similar extensions amid the unprecedented economic situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to SDFC, the Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) also extended its loan repayment period by six months in March. The Bank of Maldives (BML) announced a similar moratorium along with a 20 percent discount on repayment amount.

In April, SDFC commenced issuing loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with annual revenues below MVR 10 million under its 'Economic Recovery Plan'. The loans are issued at an interest rate of six percent and must be settled within three years and carry a six-month grace period to begin repaying the loaned amount.