Former IR Magazine Award winner in sustainability index first

DBS becomes first Singapore bank to join global sustainability index

DBS Group, a former winner of the IR Magazine Award for best sustainability practice, has been named the first Singapore bank to join a global sustainability index, 18 months after taking home the gong at the IR Magazine Awards – South East Asia 2015.

The banking group has been added to the FTSE4Good Global Index, and has been named the top index constituent in the FTSE4Good ASEAN 5 Index. The first bank from the city-state to be included in the FTSE4Good Index, DBS joins seven other Singapore-listed companies globally recognized for their ESG practices.

‘This is an affirmation that our sustainability efforts are on the right path, and we look forward to introducing more innovative initiatives to support Singapore and the region’s sustainable development agendas,’ says Mikkel Larsen, co-chair of DBS’ sustainability council, in a press statement, adding that the recognition places the bank ‘on the global stage’.

Detailing some of its ESG initiatives, DBS says that ‘last month, the bank issued its first green bond with an issue size of $500 mn, to support the financing of green assets. It was the sole bookrunner of Singapore’s first corporate green bond in March 2017. The bank also played an instrumental role in bringing to market the world’s first listed social sustainability bond – the Women’s Livelihood Bond, an $8 mn bond that provides loans to social enterprises and microfinance institutions, positively impacting the livelihoods of more than 385,000 women in Cambodia, the Philippines and Vietnam.’

According to figures from the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, published in DBS’ press release, more than $22 tn of assets are being professionally managed under responsible investment strategies – an increase of 25 percent since 2014.

DBS’ award for best sustainability practice was one of four the banking group took home at the IR Magazine Awards – South East Asia 2015. It also won best overall investor relations (large cap), best IR by a Singaporean company and best in sector (financials excluding real estate). DBS was further named number one in the South East Asia Top 25 and number four in the Asia Top 50.

‘DBS keeps us abreast of its sustainability actions,’ notes one member of the Singaporean buy side in the IR Magazine Investor Perception Study – Asia 2015/2016, while a sell-sider comments on the firm’s integrated reporting: ‘Financial reporting from DBS is very progressive and it thinks about integrated reporting standards. We get clear and regular updates and good access to management.’

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