KUALA LUMPUR: OCBC Al-Amin Bank Bhd (OCBC Al-Amin) aims to strengthen its commitment to sustainability by bringing its value-based intermediation (VBI) with more "green" financing projects this year.
The Islamic banking arm of OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd said VBI is an industry-driven sustainability initiative to generate a positive and sustainable impact on the economy, community and environment.
OCBC Al-Amin chief executive officer Syed Abdull Aziz Syed Kechik said the bank will continue to pay particular attention to sustainable financing opportunities as part of its long-term growth strategy within the established responsible financing framework.
"We are actively exploring possible strategic collaborative engagements with the relevant government agencies in support of this sustainability agenda amid the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"At the moment we are focusing on financing renewable energy projects which include large scale solar photovoltaic and rooftop solar power plants," he said in a statement today.
While these types of financing are more project specific, he said the bank would also look into providing sustainability-linked financing to its customers for their general corporate purposes.
"The sustainability-linked financing recognises and incentivises our customers for meeting specific sustainability targets in relation to their environmental, social and governance initiatives," he said.
Syed Abdull Aziz said the bank had led the first-of-its-kind syndicated multi-currency Shariah-compliant sustainability-linked set of financing facilities of US$800 million for Axiata Group Bhd.
"We are looking at other such sustainability-linked financing exercises for our clients," he added.
Last year, OCBC Al-Amin acted as Edra Solar Sdn Bhd's sukuk sustainability framework adviser and lead arranger, creating new benchmarks in the sukuk market by successfully pricing Malaysia's first Asean Sustainability SRI sukuk of RM245 million.
The project aimed to deliver a long-term sustainable and viable investment opportunity.
Syed Abdull Aziz said the efforts stem from the OCBC Group's recognition of the important role a financial institution plays in VBI, including by taking action on climate change and to promote sustainable development.
Since its establishment in 2008, the foreign Islamic bank has grown consistently over the years to its current RM17.4 billion in assets as at December 31 2019.