The Dubai Sustainable Finance Working Group has published two guides for issuers and investors as part of Dubai’s bid to lead the way in the UAE for environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainable finance.
The guides provide information on best practices in the ESG sector and the commercial opportunities it offers. Launched at the Dubai Sustainable Finance Webinar, the guides aim to stimulate further progress relating to sustainable finance and reinforce Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as ‘the region’s most sustainable financial hub’.
Firstly, the Sustainable Issuance Guide details the steps involved in issuing ESG bonds, Sukuk, equities and other financial products, as well as outlining the need for companies to develop a sustainability strategy.
While, the Sustainable Investing Guide highlights the rising ESG opportunities for investors as companies and the financial markets shift towards integrating sustainability into their mainstream activities.
“DIFC and its clients lead the way on sustainable finance in the region and ESG principles are considered in over 60 per cent of their financing and business decisions,” said Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority. “Our enabling platform sees bankers, advisors and professional services firms collaborating on preparing regional and global deals, as well as issuances that have sustainable principles at their core.
“Our vast community of over 200 wealth and asset management firms are also able changing the market for the better by offering investments that deliver social and environmental impacts as well as a financial return. Collectively, we are shaping the future of finance.”
While, Hassan Al Serkal, CEO of Dubai Financial Market, said: “The DFM is steadfastly moving towards becoming the region’s leading sustainable financial market by 2025. We are collaborating with leading institutions and Dubai’s broader finance sector to promote best practices of ESG and sustainability.
“We deeply believe that informative webinars and guides are pivotal to encourage issuers to embrace ESG and attract sustainable investments to Dubai.”
Speakers at the Dubai Sustainable Finance Webinar included Emirates NBD and HSBC, who led the preparation of the Sustainable Investing Guide. Standard Chartered, Dubai Financial Market and Nasdaq Dubai developed the Sustainable Issuance Guide. The United Nations Global Compact, DP World, Franklin Templeton and Majid Al Futtaim Holding also participated in the event.
Discussions included a roadmap to issuance and listing and the potential for increasing capital flows into the region. According to Core Data Research in July 2020, of 500 global institutional investors, 51 per cent now fully integrate ESG into their investment approach, up from 36 per cent at the end of 2019.
In addition to the DFM and the DIFC, the other 10 founding members of the Dubai Sustainable Finance Working Group are Nasdaq Dubai, Hawkamah Institute of Corporate Governance, DEWA, the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, Aramex, DP World, HSBC, EmiratesNBD, Dubai Islamic Bank and Société Générale.