Stamp Duty Exemption for SME Loans and Financing Facilities

As part of the Malaysian Government’s initiative to help ease the financial burden faced by small and medium enterprises affected by the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, the Stamp Duty (Exemption) (No. 10) Order 2021 (“E.O. 10/21”) was gazetted on 10 September 2021 and is deemed to have come into operation retrospectively on 1 January 2021.
 
E.O. 10/21 exempts from stamp duty an instrument of loan or a financing agreement in relation to a loan or financing facility approved under any of the following funds established by Bank Negara Malaysia for small and medium enterprises - 

  1. All Economic Sectors Facility; 

  2. Small Medium Enterprises Automation and Digitalisation Facility; or 

  3. Agrofood Facility. 
E.O. 10/21 requires the loan or financing facility to be executed between a small and medium enterprise and a financial institution pursuant to a letter of offer issued by the financial institution on or after 1 January 2021 but not later than 31 December 2021.
 
An application for an exemption under E.O. 10/21 must be accompanied by the letter of offer from the financial institution to the small and medium enterprise which states the approval of the loan or financing facility.
 
For the purposes of E.O. 10/21 - 

  1. financial institution’ has the same meaning as that assigned to “banker”1 under section 2 of the Stamp Act 1949, and any person prescribed as a financial institution2 by the Minister of Finance under subsection 2(1) of the Central Bank of Malaysia Act 2009 (“CBM Act”) for the purposes of section 49 of the CBM Act; and 

  2. small and medium enterprises’ means enterprises as may be determined by the National Small and Medium Enterprises Development Council established under the Small and Medium Industries Development Corporation Act 1995. 
Alert prepared by Tan Wei Liang (Associate) and Tai Kean Lynn (Associate) of the Corporate Practice of Skrine. 
 

1 A “banker” means —
(a) any person licensed under the Financial Services Act 2013 to carry on a banking business in Malaysia;
(b) any person licensed under the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013 to carry on an Islamic banking business in Malaysia; or
(c) a development financial institution prescribed under the Development Financial Institutions Act 2002.
2 A “financial institution” under section 2(1) of the CBM Act means a person carrying on a financial business regulated under the laws enforced by Bank Negara Malaysia and in addition includes any —
(a) person who operates any payment system or issues any payment instrument; and
(b) person carrying on any other financial business as the Minister of Finance may prescribe.
 

This alert contains general information only. It does not constitute legal advice nor an expression of legal opinion and should not be relied upon as such.