Masraf Al Rayan has launched its sustainable financing framework to further its environment, social and governance (ESG) agenda.
The launch of the framework, the first of its kind at an Islamic bank in Qatar, will enable Masraf Al Rayan to offer ESG-linked funding opportunities to investors and apply those proceeds to finance ESG-compliant sustainable projects.
Global credit rating agency S&P assessed the bank’s framework as “strong” in its ESG criteria, as part of an independent second party opinion.
In a bid to become a key sustainability player in Qatar, Masraf Al Rayan has set up its strategy in alignment with the Qatar Financial Centre’s (QFC) newly-launched sustainable sukuk and bonds framework.
The bank’s sustainability strategy also follows Qatar’s National Environment and Climate Change Strategy, which outlines a policy framework to protect the environment and achieve long-term sustainability goals.
"We are the first Islamic bank in Qatar to have formally launched a sustainable finance framework, assessed by S&P Global Ratings. This step will open new avenues for participation amongst investors and customers to collectively achieve our sustainable investment and financing goals,” said Fahad bin Abdullah al-Khalifa, group chief executive of Masraf Al Rayan.
The bank will have sustainable finance as a cornerstone of its future growth strategy. A dedicated ESG governance committee has been set up to monitor the implementation of the sustainable finance framework and to develop ongoing ESG-related frameworks and policies.
Under the new sustainable financing framework, Masraf Al Rayan has committed to allocating an amount equivalent to the net proceeds of financing instruments issued under the framework to exclusively finance or refinance projects that contribute to at least one environmental or social objective.
All eligible green and social projects will contribute to environmental and social objectives, in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, and are mapped to specific targets of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.
The bank’s sustainable financing framework is fully aligned with the Green Bond principles supporting the financing of environmentally sound and sustainable projects that foster a net-zero emissions economy and protect the environment.
Abdul Hakeem Mostafawi, chief executive of HSBC Qatar, said it is committed to helping lead the transition to a global net zero economy.
"The financial services sector in Qatar has an important role to play in the country’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030 and HSBC is proud to have collaborated with Masraf Al Rayan on developing their sustainable finance framework," he added.
Financing based on, and linked to, sound ESG principles will be the key to the transition journey, said Osama Ali, managing director, and head of global banking at HSBC.