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Maybank reaffirms sustainability push with RM4.5 billion earmarked for tech and talent

The Edge Singapore
The Edge Singapore • 3 min read
Maybank reaffirms sustainability push with RM4.5 billion earmarked for tech and talent
Maybank Group’s president & CEO, Dato’ Khairussaleh Ramli at the Maybank Invest Asean conference on June 20 / Photo: Maybank
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Maybank plans to invest up to RM4.5 billion ($1.3 billion) over five years to speed up the development of its capabilities in technology and talent, with an emphasis on its sustainability-first practices, and to then influence its wider operating ecosystem including customers and partners.

The bank aims to achieve carbon neutrality in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 and net zero carbon equivalent by 2050.

As for the so-called Scope 3, Maybank is already working with key clients to support their decarbonisation journey.

The bank says that 70% of its financed emissions come from less than 100 customers from top contributing sectors such as power and utilities, oil and gas, agriculture and construction.

“We are believers in the resilience of the region, and Maybank is committed to enabling clients wherever they are and supporting the evolution of their businesses,” says Maybank Group’s president & CEO, Dato’ Khairussaleh Ramli at the Maybank Invest Asean conference on June 20.

A key theme of the conference, now in its tenth edition, is to showcase how Asean has been the net beneficiary of the re-shaping of trades and investments trends, plus the deepening of supply chains due to US-China tensions.

See also: Vietnam coal power project moving forward despite JETP phase-out deal

“The region is, however, not immune to the rising risks of global fragmentation and geopolitical conflicts. Businesses must be prepared to manage vulnerabilities and respond swiftly to new opportunities,” says Khairussaleh.

Nonetheless, amid these shifts, there are clear opportunities. “The reshaping of their businesses will have far-reaching implications―new jobs, greener economies and just transition pathways, towards creating more equitable societies,” says Khairussaleh.

The bank has mobilised RM38.8 billion of sustainable financing cumulatively from 2021 to end March 2023, and is well underway to achieving its target of RM80 billion of sustainable financing by 2025.

See also: Are we underestimating the impact of climate change? Schroders thinks so

Maybank Investment Banking group CEO Michael Oh-Lau expects investments into renewables and other green technologies to continue accelerating this year. The investments, according to him, will be mainly supported by sustainable debt financing.

“With the Asean Capital Market Forum’s (ACMF) Sustainability-Linked Bond Standards in place, industries have greater flexibility in participating in the sustainable finance market,” says Oh-Lau.

“We can anticipate higher issuances of sustainability-linked and transition instruments in addition to the conventional green, social or sustainability instruments. We are at a pivotal point in the transition journey of Asean,” he adds.

Maybank, a leading player in Islamic finance activities, sees more opportunities across the wider market of quality, ethical investments.

“As a group, we shall leverage Malaysia’s strength, and build Singapore and Indonesia with our Singapore office as the Islamic wealth management hub for Maybank to capture cross-border wealth management flows,” says Maybank Singapore country CEO Dr John Lee.

“Singapore is a major financial centre for intermediation of capital flows, and is increasingly seen as Asean’s green financing hub, accounting for over 50% of green financing activity in the region.”

“In view of these trends, we are well-positioned to grow our IWM business which integrates both ESG and Shariah principles,” adds Lee.

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