PETALING JAYA: Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank), Malaysia’s largest lender, has reached the halfway mark in its goal to allocate RM80 billion towards sustainable finance by 2025.
A big chunk of the green loans has been disbursed to support Singapore-based companies’ shift to low-carbon sources, Maybank Group CEO Khairussaleh Ramli said in an interview with Bloomberg.
“We can talk about moving into renewables straight away, but equally important is how we support our clients on transition financing and transition advisory,” he said.
Maybank is among major Malaysian banks pledging to funnel money into green loans.
CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, which counts sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd as its largest shareholder, aims to allocate RM60 billion to sustainable funding by 2024, twice its initial goal.
Meanwhile, RHB Bank Bhd plans to put RM20 billion toward sustainable funding by 2026.
The amounts, while large, aren’t enough to wean businesses off fossil fuels and address other sustainability goals.
Malaysia is estimated to need RM637 billion of investments over the next three decades to support its renewable energy goal to reach 70% of the energy mix by 2050.
The country would “need support from overseas” for the targeted funding, Khairussaleh said.
The Asian Development Bank estimates that Southeast Asia needs annual investments of US$210 billion (RM940 billion) to meet its climate-change goals, prompting Maybank to further expand its footprint in the region.
Already positioned as the fourth-largest lender in Southeast Asia by assets, Khairussaleh noted that Maybank has established Cambodia as a fresh frontier for universal banking.
With the bank’s trajectory, it is anticipated to secure a place within Cambodia’s top 10 market players in the coming time. Its present standing in the Southeast Asian nation is at the 11th position.
As at 12.29pm, Maybank’s share price was down 2 sen or 0.22% at RM9, giving it a market capitalisation of RM108.49 billion.