Nine in 10 Singapore SMEs successful in securing debt financing: Spring Singapore survey

A top finance-related challenge for SMEs was managing delays in customers' payment which affected cash flow and working capital management.
A top finance-related challenge for SMEs was managing delays in customers' payment which affected cash flow and working capital management.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - About 13 per cent of Singapore's small and medium-sized enterprises sought external financing in the past year and 90 per cent of them were successful in their applications for debt financing, said a survey.

The survey, the second edition of Spring Singapore's SME financing survey, found that 60 per cent of SMEs that sought external financing this year did so for cash flow management.

Bank loans were the most popular form of external financing across SMEs of different sizes, industries and stages of development, according to the survey released on Friday (Dec 15).

The majority of the remaining 87 per cent that did not turn to external financing said they had sufficient funds to operate, while a smaller proportion (9 per cent) indicated a personal preference not to borrow.

The survey also found that larger SMEs were more likely to seek external financing given their growth needs and the approval rate for debt financing was higher than micro companies - those with revenue below S$1 million.

Micro companies faced lower approval rates largely due to the lack of financial documents and/or weaker business performance to support their debt application.

Spring Singapore added that a top finance-related challenge for SMEs was managing delays in customers' payment which affected cash flow and working capital management.