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PNB finalising sustainability framework, eyes Q1 2022 launch

23/12/2021 03:06 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 -- Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) is finalising its sustainability framework which is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2022 (Q1 2022).

President and group chief executive Ahmad Zulqarnain Onn said PNB needs to expand and rethink its approach to responsible and sustainable investing to strengthen its already robust emphasis on governance and financial inclusion.

PNB has defined sustainability across three pillars, namely environmental, social and governance (ESG).

On environment, he said, the great focus will be in transitioning PNB and its portfolio companies toward lowering greenhouse gas emissions and meeting Malaysia’s net zero commitment by 2050.

“For social and governance, we will be committed to improving our governance practices that we believe are right for this market, to reduce inequality and improve diversity,” he said at a virtual press conference after announcing Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) dividend today.

Ahmad Zulqarnain also said that PNB made significant progress this year in three focus areas, namely creating value in the performance of its domestic portfolio, continuing its diversification into global markets through multiple asset classes, and accelerating its digital offerings.

“Diversification in value creation, risk management and organisational transformation have made good progress since the introduction in 2020, making the institution more agile,” he said.

“The implementation of key initiatives has further strengthened PNB's ability to perform more efficiently in quite extraordinary circumstances.

“The higher utilisation of technology and digitalisation has enabled us to navigate better the various uncertainties and their impact on our investment portfolio. We have also been able to expand our capability in terms of technology and human capital,” he added.

Moving forward, he said PNB aims to make available sound financial planning tools for the public to enable them to determine their own investment journey, based on their individual financial aspirations and investment goals.

It will do this by developing and deploying various channels and tools for public use.

“We will also continue to strengthen our investment portfolio through judicious diversification efforts to reach our aspirational target,” he said.

On PNB's diversification strategy, Ahmad Zulqarnain said this has borne fruit, with global equity investments making a higher contribution this year compared to other asset classes. This, he said, has helped to buffet the somewhat flat contribution from domestic investments.

However, he emphasised that PNB is not moving away from Malaysia, but instead, the domestic market remains its priority, comprising 67 per cent of its portfolio.

“For us, it is all about constructing the right all-weather portfolio -- or right asset allocation  --  that would generate sustainable returns.

“As an investment house, we will continue to deploy capital into Malaysian companies via initial public offerings, subscriptions to sukuk as well as investments into real estate.

“We will look for growth as an investor. We will also look into companies with strong ESG credentials moving forward. Sustainability and the greening of the economy is a big theme for us in future investment decision making,” he added.




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