Kuala Lumpur, 13 October 2021 – Principal Islamic Asset Management (“Principal Islamic”)
laid emphasis on the broad commonality between Islamic and Environmental, Social ;
Governance (ESG) investing at Principal’s annual Asia Pacific Summit held recently from 22
September until 30 September. Themed “Risk, Resilience, Recovery: Global Markets in
Transition”, the summit brought together global business leaders and investment professionals
for discussions spanning geopolitical risks and opportunities, resilience in the digital age, and
most importantly continued economic progress.
The “The Ethical Investment Demand” session featured a keynote address by Tan Sri Abdul
Wahid Omar, Chairman of Bursa Malaysia followed by a panel discussion which dived into the
propositions offered by converging Islamic and Environment, Social and Governance (ESG)
investment approaches which share many underlying principles. Essentially, with the common
universe of values, both Islamic and ESG investing are similar in substance.
According to Kirk West, Executive Director of Principal Global Investors, “I think we are going to
see significant investment in green investment, it can be green energy, green financing or
decarbonization.” The panel notes, with continued momentum by UN-supported Principles for
Responsible Investment (PRI), Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) and Principles for
Sustainable Insurance (PSI), all businesses will eventually embrace the Net Zero movement.
“We strongly believe that we need to have sustainability integrated in our investment processes
and that is something that very much favours active managers like Principal Asset Managers in
Malaysia and globally,” he added.
In the region, Principal Islamic is committed to pursuing the integration of ESG into its
investment processes and policies. Principal’s ESG framework aims at integrating ESG
considerations in investment and risk management processes via a three-staged process which
include ESG scoring, ESG watchlist and ESG engagement.
“We approach investees in a much inclusive way by asking what they are doing and how to
improve with particular focus on ESG factors. Together with other stakeholders, regulators, and
fund managers, we collaborate to ask the hard questions to put pressure on them to improve in
this area. If they are not giving the right answer or progress, it will show in their share prices,”
said Dato; Paduka Syed Mashafuddin Syed Badarudin, Chief Executive Officer of Principal
Principal Islamic is one of the leading Islamic investment management companies in the world
with its group Islamic business assets under management of RM36.9 billion as of June 2021,
serving customers in Australia, Europe, Middle East, Southeast Asia and United Kingdom.