Dubai is speeding up the pace to consolidate its pivotal position as a sustainable financial center


Dubai: “The Gulf”

The Sustainable Finance Working Group in Dubai issued, on Sunday, two comprehensive introductory guides on sustainable finance, with the aim of disseminating best practices related to governance, social and environmental responsibility, and highlighting the positive repercussions and opportunities provided by the application of these practices.
This comes within the framework of the relentless efforts to establish Dubai as a pioneer in leading efforts to expand the application of sustainability, governance, social and environmental responsibility in the United Arab Emirates, and the region in general.
The two new guides were launched during the group’s virtual seminar on sustainable finance. The “sustainable issuance guide” deals in detail with the steps related to issuing various classes of securities such as bonds, sukuk, stocks and other financial products that meet the requirements of governance, social and environmental responsibility, with an emphasis on the importance of companies formulating their sustainability strategies.
In turn, the “sustainable investment guide” highlights the increasing opportunities that governance, social and environmental responsibility provide to investors, as companies and financial markets focus on placing sustainability at the core of their main concerns.
A superior platform
Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of the DIFC Authority, said: “The DIFC and the companies operating through it occupy a leading position in the field of sustainable finance. 60% of them take inspiration from the principles of governance, social and environmental responsibility when making decisions related to financing and other activities. The Financial Center provides its clients with a superior platform that witnesses remarkable cooperation between bankers, advisors and financial services experts to prepare for regional and global deals and issues that adhere to the principles of sustainability. Our huge base of wealth and asset management firms, of more than 200, is qualified to lead the sector for the better through investments that are socially and environmentally impactful and yield financial returns at the same time. In our estimation, our joint efforts are capable of shaping the future of the financial sector. The two new directories will allow the exchange of experiences and best practices from our clients, in order to stimulate more successes related to sustainable finance and strengthen Dubai’s position as the most sustainable financial center at the regional level. ”
Active round
For his part, Hassan Al Serkal, CEO of the Dubai Financial Market, said: “The market is actively striving to be at the forefront of sustainable financial markets at the regional level by 2025. In this regard, we are cooperating with many leading institutions to spread best practices of sustainability, governance, social and environmental responsibility among dealers in The market in particular, and the financial sector in Dubai, in general, where the initiatives of the Dubai Sustainable Finance Working Group, as well as the individual initiatives of its founding members, are in line with the Dubai strategy in the field of sustainability.
In our estimation, such seminars and introductory guides have an active role in encouraging companies issuing securities to expand the application of corporate governance, social and environmental responsibility, in a way that contributes to attracting more investments to Dubai. ”
The panel discussion also discussed the growth of issuances, listings and investments that are sensitive to governance, social and environmental responsibility applications at the regional level, and the pioneering role of Dubai institutions in this field. For example, the Dubai Financial Market and the Corporate Governance Institute (Hawkamah) of the Dubai International Financial Center actively contributed to the launch of the S&P 20 Index for the governance of companies listed in the UAE financial markets.
9 listings on “Nasdaq-Dubai”
In this same context and commenting on Dubai’s success in transforming into the preferred center for issuances and listings related to governance, social and environmental responsibility, Hamed Ali, CEO of Nasdaq Dubai, Executive Vice President of the Dubai Financial Market, said: “As the international exchange for the region, Nasdaq Dubai presents one of the most prominent examples. On it; It is at the forefront of the regional scene with regard to the inclusion of green securities that respect the principles of sustainability, governance, social and environmental responsibility.
The total value of these listings reaches $ 7.75 billion through nine sukuk and bond listings. We are continuing our vigorous efforts to enhance the framework and infrastructure, in line with the increasing demand on the part of issuing companies and investors for this category of issuances.
The list of speakers in the seminar included experts from several leading institutions, including Emirates NBD and HSBC, where the two institutions took the lead in preparing the sustainable investment guide. Experts from Standard Chartered Bank, Dubai Financial Market, and Nasdaq Dubai, where the three institutions prepared the sustainable issuance guide, also participated. Also speaking during the panel discussion were experts from the United Nations’ Global Compact initiative, DP World, Franklin Templeton and Majid Al Futtaim Holding.
road map
The panel discussion dealt with a number of topics, including the issuance and inclusion roadmap, setting up a sustainability framework, validating corporate governance and social and environmental responsibility practices by independent institutions, and preparing reports on governance, social and environmental responsibility. The panel discussion also shed light on opportunities to increase investment flows to the region, as the statistics of “Cordata Research” issued in July 2020 indicate that the percentage of global investment institutions that have already fully included governance, social and environmental responsibility in their investment methodologies has increased to 51%, out of 500 establishments, compared to 36% in 2019.
It should be noted that the sustainable finance working group in Dubai includes: Aramex, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Dubai Center for Islamic Economic Development, Dubai International Financial Center, Dubai Islamic Bank, Dubai Financial Market, Dubai Ports World, Emirates NBD, Dubai National Oil Company, Hawkamah, HSBC Bank, Majid Al Futtaim, Nasdaq Dubai, Societe Generale, Standard Chartered and Zurich.


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