Posted Date: March 31, 2022

The third iteration of the MARC360 conference series, titled "Sustainable Development Financing 2022" commenced yesterday morning and is being held over two half-days on March 30-31, 2022.

The virtual conference was officiated by the Minister of Finance Malaysia, YB Senator Tengku Datuk Seri Utama Zafrul Bin Tengku Abdul Aziz. On his behalf, the keynote address was delivered by the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Finance (MOF), YBhg Dato' Seri Asri Bin Hamidon.

In his speech, YBhg Dato' Seri Asri said, "A holistic and inclusive recovery can only be achieved if sustainability is at the core of our post-COVID strategy". He further affirmed that the MOF, in collaboration with other regulatory bodies such as Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Securities Commission Malaysia, have been developing a comprehensive framework for sustainability with the goal of establishing Malaysia as a Sustainable Financial Hub.

"I am also pleased to announce that we will be issuing our Sustainability Sukuk of up to RM10 billion later this year to fund projects focusing on socioeconomic and environmental sustainability. The Sustainability Sukuk's main goal is to direct funds toward recovery initiatives that also build long-term resilience," he added.

In delivering his welcoming remarks, MARC's Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Jamaludin Nasir commended the efforts by Malaysian regulators who have long been strong proponents of sustainability in the capital markets. "The financial sector holds enormous power in funding and bringing awareness to issues of sustainability, whether through funding the R&D of alternative energy sources or supporting businesses that follow fair and sustainable social standards," he said.

The virtual conference started off on Day 1 with a Special Presentation by MARC Ratings' Chief Economist, Firdaos Rosli, who highlighted that the Malaysian economy is taking much longer to return to its pre-crisis level compared to what it had to endure during the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

The impact of a prolonged lockdown requires a massive rebuilding exercise, which will take time, effort (particularly public buy-in), and sizeable fiscal and monetary support to bring a derailed economy back on track. These are the necessary ingredients that Malaysia needs all at once and must not be undertaken selectively.

Day 1 continued with the second session where panellists discussed how financial institutions can play a role in aligning the nation's development to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. The panellists agreed that financial institutions should carry the responsibility to help finance the transition towards a greener and more sustainable economy. The speakers featured in this session included:

•   Mr. Jeffrey Lee Sukjoon, Vice President - Manager, APAC Sustainable Finance, Moody's ESG Solutions, Singapore

•   Mr. Ken Kamal, Programme Director, Project Cocoon - Operations & Planning, HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad

•   Mr. Ahmad Feizal Sulaiman Khan, Chief Business Officer, MARC

Day 2 of the virtual conference today covers issues surrounding innovations in sustainable energy and emerging global trends in sustainability.

Moody's Investors Service is our strategic partner for the MARC360 conference series. Sponsors for this event include AmInvestment Bank Berhad (Gold sponsor) and BIX Malaysia (Silver sponsor).

For more information and to register for the MARC360: Sustainable Development Financing 2022 Virtual Conference, please click here.

Etty Suhaya Yahaya, +603-2717 2944/ ettysuhaya@marc.com.my
Nurfarain Mohd Dom, +603-2717 2925/ farah@marc.com.my