Understanding Commercial Property Loans

By Blog

So you’ve been eyeing a commercial property and now you’re ready to make a purchase. Before you go any further, it’s good to understand the intricacies of purchasing commercial properties as well as how commercial property loans work. The following are some helpful information that will assist you in the process of securing your commercial property loan.

Firstly, what is the commercial property’s maximum loan percentage? For commercial properties, the maximum loan that you can obtain is up to 85% under personal name as opposed to 90% loan for residential properties. This difference can be a key in your decision making as you will generally need to put more cash upfront for commercial properties compared to residential properties.

On the other hand, commercial property buyers qualify for 80-85% loan margins for commercial property purchases regardless of the number commercial properties purchased. This differs from residential property loan where 90% loan margin is accorded to the first 2 properties and the 3rd residential property qualifies for only 70% loan.

So what types of properties require commercial property loans? Below are the type of properties that will require commercial property loans.

  • Retail shop lot / Shop house
  • Office units
  • Factory lots
  • SoFo (small office, flexible office)
  • SoVo (small office, virtual office)
  • Commercial land
  • Agricultural land
  • Serviced apartments
  • SoHo (small office, home office): this depends on bank policy

While banks have differing criteria when it comes to accepting and approving commercial property loans, the general criteria is always the viability of business for the commercial property. Factors such as location, type of commercial property, type of land and usage, location in mixed development, total number of units and floor location are all taken into consideration in the process of accepting and approving commercial property loans.

So what documents do you need to furnish the bank in order to apply for a commercial property loan? For a Sdn Bhd company (purchasing under company name) that comprises of 2 individuals or more, you will require the following documents.

  • Form 24 & 49
  • Latest P&L (Profit & Loss) Statement
  • Memorandum of Article
  • Company Profile
  • Form 9
  • 12 months bank statement
  • Latest audited report

For those who are running a business under Sole Proprietorship or Partnership, they will be required to provide additional documents namely

  • Form A and Form D
  • Name card

For commercial property loans, you need to be aware of a lower maximum margin of finance compared with the 90% for residential property loans. Be ready to put up more cash upfront. Also be prepared for a lower maximum loan tenure, ranging from 25-30 years for commercial properties. Banks also place certain restrictions on the types of commercial properties they would finance hence you might be offered a lower margin of finance if the banks deem the commercial property of your choice is not commercially attractive or viable. The key is to shop around and compare loan details.

Diversifying your property portfolio is generally on of the key reasons for looking at commercial properties. Investors are likely to invest in commercial properties to generate revenue and get profits by leases out to long-term or short-term tenants. With a favourable commercial property loan, coupled with well-managed commercial property, one can get excellent revenue or sale profits.

If you are looking for a commercial property loan, check out for a detailed comparison of available commercial property loans.

Understanding Asset-Based Loans: The ins and outs

By Blog

In Malaysia, the financial products available to businesses are plenty. If you’re a company on the cusp of exciting growth, but feel hampered by the lack of capital, look no further than asset-based loans for an answer.

Asset-based loans provide companies that are aggressively growing with an injection of funds to ensure business continuity.

But first, what are asset-based loans, and do you qualify for such a solution?

Asset-based financing is a flexible option for gaining additional capital by putting up a company’s assets as collateral. In other words, you offer up your assets to a financier in order to receive extra capital to grow your business.

Once you receive this additional financing, it gives you the freedom to take on new initiatives that will grow profits for your business. It’s also a great capital injection to ensure project completion. In some cases, businesses make a request for asset-based loans to finalise an acquisition.

The assets that borrowers can offer up as collateral varies. Different lenders will have different preferences. However, it is common for lenders to ask for accounts receivables and inventory as stakes.

But there is no limit to the type of collateral required. Some financial organisations accept tangible assets such as property (free of encumbrances), gold, art pieces, luxury watches, or cars that appreciate in value, and intangible assets such as share capital.

After some calculations and valuation of the assets up for collateral, the lender may offer up between 50% and 80% of the asset value as cash advance to the borrower.

Borrowers with a good track record of business operations and growth, along with excellent credit standing and financial systems may easily obtain asset-based financing. Successful approval of asset-based loans also depends on the number of customers with good credit ratings that the company has.

Whether you are looking to get some additional working capital to finance your growth, to acquire additional resources, to turn around your business, or simply to get over a financial bump, asset-based loans are a viable option especially for companies with good financial records, fast-moving inventory, and customers with quick turnaround time when it comes to settling payments.

Benefits of Mezzanine Loans in Real Estate

By Blog

When real estate developers wish to secure supplementary financing to fuel up growth for their property projects, one of the viable solutions they can consider is mezzanine loan financing.

But with so little information about this topic, it’s not always easy to understand what it is, how it works, and what benefits it provides the borrower.

In this article, we will shed some light on this topic so Malaysian property developers can make better decisions about their commercial real estate financing.

What is a mezzanine loan?

Mezzanine loan is a form of financing that combines both equity and debt financing qualities. This unique structure presents many benefits to the borrower. It is particularly useful when companies need to quickly raise funds to boost their project development.

What are the benefits?

When it comes to financing options, financial lenders will usually support Malaysian commercial property developers up to a maximum of 60% of the property value and not more. With mezzanine financing, commercial property developers can obtain capital to make up for the shortfall of 40% and continue to sustain the project.

Another benefit of mezzanine financing is that it is a way for commercial property developers to secure large amounts of financing rather quickly. These loans do not need security and borrowers who have a good record of successful investments can use this to their advantage.

Borrowers who go the route of mezzanine financing also find it advantageous to them because the interest is tax deductible.

How does it work?

To paint a clearer picture of mezzanine financing, here’s an example that illustrates how it works.

ABC Bank offers a mezzanine loan to DEF Company, a commercial property developer in Malaysia. DEF Company utilises this financing to pay off higher interest rates on an existing loan. In addition, the mezzanine financing provides DEF Company with additional working capital to sustain its business, allowing it to expand its services. ABC Bank collects interest payments from DEF Company, and in the case of financing default, will be able to convert the mezzanine financing into equity stocks in DEF Company.

The 4 main concepts of Islamic Finance

By Blog

Many will already be aware that Islamic and conventional banking differ in several ways. There are a few important principles of Islamic Finance that govern the banking system and differentiates it from conventional banking. When trying to understand Islamic finance, one must remember that it is based on the Quran and Islamic teachings which emphasises on moderation and fairness for the prosperity of not just individuals but the community and nation, too.

Riba is prohibited

Riba has been translated as usury or excess, and in Islamic teachings, the giving or taking of interest is prohibited. The main reason for this is that Islam believes that lending with interest is an unjust practice that is only advantageous to the lender, while exploiting the borrower.

Instead, Islamic financial institutions offer a variety of financing alternatives for customers based on mutual sharing of the profits and losses and leasing arrangements.

Avoiding ambiguous transactions (gharar)

Islamic finance does not support contracts where items being transacted are uncertain or are of ambiguous nature and where parties involved have unclear expectations or lack certain knowledge to make informed choices. It is considered a form of gambling, an act which is prohibited in Islam. By avoiding these ambiguous arrangements, the customer is protected fairly and avoids excessive risks. As such, Islamic banks will not participate in investments in derivatives, options and futures.

Avoiding investments in prohibited activities

Muslims are prohibited from engaging in transactions that are un-Islamic in nature. This includes gambling as it involves risk-taking and uncertain outcomes. Other prohibited transactions are those that involve investments in alcohol, pork and the like. As such, Islamic financial institutions will not finance ventures involving prohibited activities. Likewise, Muslim investors cannot invest in projects that participate in un-Islamic activities.

Profit- and loss-sharing (mudarabah)

To ensure fairness, Islamic banking is one where customers become “partners” of the financial institution and whatever profits or losses are shared together. For example, to finance the purchase of a house, an Islamic financial institution may offer to purchase the property outright and sell it to the customer at an agreed marked-up price paid in instalments over a period of time, at the end of which, the property ownership is turned over to the customer.

Islamic Finance: Past, present and green future

By Blog

Banking is already a confusing topic as it is, but now with Islamic financing entering the mainstream market, many are getting even more confused. To clear the air, let’s take a look at what it is all about.

It is not a new system

Many think that Islamic financing is something new simply because they’ve only just heard about it. In actual fact, Islamic economic theories and concepts have a long-established history, spanning more than a millennium. Due to changes in geopolitics and social upheavals across history, much of Islamic economics concepts were not practised. Instead, global nations utilised Westernised banking methods. But now, with Islamic financing available for everyone, consumers like you and I will have more options to choose from.

It is based on Islamic law

Islamic financing abides by the Islamic law which sets out the fundamental principles of banking in Islam. The term used to describe it is “syariah compliant” which serves to provide assurance to Muslim consumers that the products and services offered observe the fundamental rules of Islam. Having said that, Islamic banking services are not limited to the Muslim population only.

It is gaining world-wide attention

Well, Islamic finance appeared on the modern consumers’ radar as recently as the 1970s but has gained much attention and favour. It is estimated that there are about 1,400 Islamic financial houses operating in more than 80 countries worldwide today. The value of syariah-compliant assets stand at US$2.4 trillion today. The growth continues with experts predicting Islamic financing value of assets to reach US$4 trillion by 2030.

Islamic banking in Malaysia is big business

Islamic banking set foot in Malaysia in the 1980s after the Islamic Banking Act 1983 was enacted. Malaysia welcomed the first Islamic Bank at that time and since then there have been many others who followed suit. Today, Islamic banks are a norm side-by-side with conventional banking institutions. In fact, besides full-fledged Islamic banks, there are also foreign-owned ones, while conventional financial institutions have also diversified to offer Islamic products among their product and service offerings.

The future is sustainable

There’s no doubt that Islamic financing is experiencing a boom worldwide. Global leaders in the industry are Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Luxembourg with the United Kingdom coming in aggressively into the market as well. To remain competitive, Islamic financial institutions must seize the opportunity to offer sustainable financial instruments to a public that is increasingly mindful of the stresses of our planet. Green financing that aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are the way of the banking future.

Conventional Loan vs Syariah-compliant loan

By Blog

When it comes to financing and getting loans, Malaysia’s financial institutions offer a variety of products and services. For the average consumer like you and I, this can cause headaches. But fret not, because the main thing to understand is that there are two main types of financing, namely conventional loans and Islamic loans. While the latter is gaining popularity, many are still in the dark about it.

What are they, what are the differences between the two and why would you choose Islamic financing over conventional ones? Let’s clear the air on these two products so you can make an informed choice right away when approaching your local bank for financial assistance.

What is a conventional loan?

A conventional loan is when a bank lends you some money and you pay the amount borrowed back to them in installments over a specified period of time. The payback amount is usually inclusive of some amount of interest that is regarded as a profit to the bank. Interest rates can be a fixed rate or based on a floating rate.

What is an Islamic loan?

Meanwhile, an Islamic loan works on a slightly different concept. When you want to borrow money from the bank to buy a house for example, the bank essentially “buys” the house on your behalf and sells it to you at a profit.

A contract is drawn up to define the profit rate to the bank, and these can be either a fixed or a floating rate. Similar to a conventional loan, the payment to the bank is staggered over a period of time.

It is important to note that Islamic loans adhere to Islamic laws known as Syariah law. At the same time, it is also closely monitored by the financial industry’s rules and regulations.

How do I choose?

For Muslims, the choice is easy. Many will choose to go for an Islamic loan provided by an Islamic banking institution as it is in line with their religious beliefs and they are assured of a “halal” or clean product.

This is because Islamic financing adheres to the principles of Islam and follows Islamic banking and economics practices. It rules out activities that are prohibited by the religion.

For example, Islamic financing prohibits investments in businesses or activities considered “haram” or sinful in Islam such as gambling houses or alcohol production businesses. By taking out an Islamic loan, Muslim borrowers are assured that the money transacted comes from “clean” sources.

I’m not a Muslim. Can I still choose Islamic financing?

Certainly! There is no reason why non-Muslims cannot utilise Islamic financing. There is no discrimination factor against non-Muslims in such a case. In fact, non-Muslims who are selective over the sources of their finances may find that the concept of Islamic financing agreeable.

In a nutshell, Islamic finance works like a normal bank in that it delivers financial products and services to customers. The main differences are:

  1. The concept of borrowing and lending is slightly different from conventional banks. In Islamic financing, there is no concept of interest. Instead, the financing is based on the concept of sharing, sale or leasing.
  2. Islamic banks engage in morally-acceptable activities, thus will not indulge in financing socially questionable activities such as gambling and other vices.