KUALA LUMPUR: 25 July 2022 – On the back of current challenging environment, SME Bank has successfully recorded another Sustainability Sukuk issuance under its book building exercise registering a total order of RM536 million which exceeded the initial desired size of RM300 million.
Group President/Chief Executive Officer of SME Bank, Dato’ (Dr.) Aria Putera Ismail commented, “Amidst the challenging market and profit rate hike situation, SME Bank’s Sustainability Sukuk is successfully priced at a competitive profit rate of 4.04%.”
Aria added, “SME Bank’s Sustainability Sukuk had received a good demand from local financing institutions, fund management, insurance companies as well Government-Linked Investment Companies thus signifying a high level of confidence from the investment community on SME Bank’s ability to deliver its mandate of nurturing and developing the SMEs.”
According to Mohd Nazri Abu Samah, Head of Treasury, “Proceeds from this issuance will only be utilised to finance ESG related projects. In addition, SME Bank will be able to offer more innovative financing solutions for small and medium enterprises. This non-government guarantee Sukuk Wakalah programme for SME Bank has been accorded AAA ratings by Malaysian Rating Corporation Bhd and also Gold standard, its highest rating for the rating agency's Sustainability Sukuk framework.”
SME Bank is currently embarking on a wholesome and comprehensive journey in adopting Environment, Social Governance (ESG) in its operations. It is now in its second year of implementing the three-year Sustainability Roadmap where the focus is on institutionalising ESG culture across the Bank, creating maximum ESG awareness with the customers and establishing SME Bank’s own comprehensive and customized Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Framework.
Development of the SDG Framework involves several key milestones such as the materiality assessments amongst the Bank’s various stakeholders, identifying the gaps and aligning the Bank’s strategies with the ESG goals.