Kuala Lumpur, 11 January 2022 – SME Bank’s Sustainability Sukuk which was issued last August has gained international recognition when it received the Best Asean Green Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) Sukuk Award and Best Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) Sukuk Award at the 15th Annual Deal and Solution Award 2021 by Alpha South East Asia, a Hong Kong-based institutional investment publication.

SME Bank Group President/Chief Executive Officer, Aria Putera Ismail said, “This international recognition shows that the effort taken by SME Bank to issue its Sustainability Sukuk is being recognised to meet international standards and this is an achievement to be proud of. It also proves that the demand for Sustainability Sukuk is starting to increase in the country's capital market industry. ”

Aria added, “SME Bank will use this Sustainability Sukuk issuance to offer innovative financing facilities for SMEs to finance projects based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) elements, which will have a positive impact on society and the environment. Specifically, the issuance of this Sukuk will be used to fund projects that fall under 11 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). With the issuance of this Sustainability Sukuk, SME entrepreneurs are encouraged to incorporate ESG values in their operations.”

The issuance of the inaugural Sustainability Sukuk worth RM500 million under the overall program worth RM3.0 billion is also seen to support the implementation of the 3rd focus of Budget 2022, namely a Prosperous and Sustainable Economy and the 12MP to strengthen the country's Sustainability Agenda.

The Sole Principal Advisor/Sole Lead Arranger for the implementation of this Sustainability Sukuk program is RHB Investment Bank Berhad and the Joint Lead Managers (JLM) are AmInvestment Bank Berhad, CIMB Investment Bank Berhad, Maybank Investment Bank Berhad and also RHB Investment Bank Berhad. SME Bank completed the book building process for the inaugural issue with bidding of more than 3.56 times or RM1.78 billion of the actual issue amounting to RM500 million at a competitive rate of 3.10%.

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