As part of initiatives to develop Malaysia’s value proposition as an Asian centre for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) and green financing by virtue of its leadership position in Islamic finance, Capital Markets Malaysia (CMM), an affiliate of the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), hosted the Sustainable Capitalism in South East Asia Forum in London recently.
A global pioneer in Islamic finance, Malaysia is taking the lead in positioning Shariah-based investing to responsible investors worldwide given its natural alignment to the principles of sustainable and responsible investment (SRI).
International recognition of this alignment by organisations such as the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investments (PRI) and the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance places Malaysia at the forefront of the sustainable investment market (ex Japan) on account of its Islamic funds.
Speaking at the forum, Zainal Izlan Zainal Abidin, Deputy Chief Executive of the SC said, “The SC will continue to facilitate the development of Malaysia’s sustainable financing and investment ecosystem, leveraging our position as a leader in the Islamic capital market, to encourage innovation and collaboration in advancing the global sustainability agenda.”
Malaysia has also championed the use of Islamic finance, through the issuance of green sukuk, as an innovative financing mechanism for funding the Sustainable Development Goals.
The SC will continue to facilitate the development of Malaysia’s sustainable financing and investment ecosystem, leveraging our position as a leader in the Islamic capital market.
Zainal Izlan Zainal Abidin, deputy chief executive, Securities Commission Malaysia
The SC paved the way for the convergence of Islamic instruments and sustainable financing with the introduction of the Sustainable and Responsible Investment Sukuk Framework in 2014, which facilitated the issuance of the world’s first green sukuk out of Malaysia in 2017. As at March 2019, six green sukuk have been issued to finance solar and small hydropower projects and green buildings. Malaysia is also home to the world’s first Sustainable Development Goals Sukuk issued in 2018.
Speakers at the forum, panellists representing HSBC, PwC, Nomura Asset Management, PRI, Maybank Islamic and the UNDP, among others, discussed how global SRI trends are set to influence growth in Asia and how the synergies between Islamic finance and SRI are expected to further contribute to the growth of the sustainable finance and investment ecosystem in Asia.