Royal Group of Companies (“Royal Group”) has obtained the world’s first Islamic green financing in hospitality from Maybank Singapore. The total financing of S$250 million is for the upcoming Raffles Sentosa Resort & Spa Singapore and the existing Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa. This marks Royal Group’s first foray into sustainability finance.
The main difference between a conventional green loan and a Shariah-compliant green financing is that the latter is structured in accordance with Shariah principles. The principles of sustainability are closely aligned with the objectives of Shariah which promotes and enhances sustainable development through the principles of fairness, equality and ethics.
Mr Bobby Hiranandani, Co-chairman of Royal Group, said, “It’s a first in the world for a hospitality developer and owner to embark on Islamic green financing. Raffles Sentosa is envisaged as a prestigious landmark icon of Singapore overlooking the beautiful South China Sea, and we only want to have the best design, top-class facilities as well as appoint a world-class operator to enchant our well-heeled customers. Being Shariah-compliant is not only going the sustainable route, but also being ethical in our approach in building and managing both properties. This is what makes our Group unique – to think long term and be one step ahead of the curve. When international travel resumes after Covid-19, customers would have a different mentality; they would want to live in a well-run property that is conscientiously built to blend in sustainably and harmoniously with the environment which Raffles Sentosa and Sofitel Singapore Sentosa offer.”
Mr Gregory Seow, Head of Global Banking at Maybank Singapore, said, “Maybank Singapore is at the forefront of developing innovative financing solutions to fund new projects and ventures in sustainability solutions and contribute towards building sustainable communities. What stood out in Shariah-compliant financing is that it benefits the customers through its product features as well as grant them access to a wider customer or investor base. For example, corporates who take up Shariah-compliant green financing may attract a wider or new customer base – domestic and international customers who opt for and support goods and services offered by ethical, sustainable and responsible companies which are also aligned with Shariah principles. Moving forward, Maybank Singapore expects to see a greater convergence between the products and services offered under both the conventional and Islamic banking systems premised on ESG.”
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker