Sarawak’s development bank to partner other financial institutions

KUCHING: Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS) will partner with other financial institutions on business opportunities such as club deal syndication loans, according to its chairman Tan Sri Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani.

He said the bank, which currently focuses on financing strategic projects for the transformation of Sarawak, will actively identify opportunities to provide green finance to ventures that embed environmental, social and governance (ESG) into their business practices.

“DBOS will leverage digitalisation applications to create a smart-banking system, operations and service delivery.

“It also plans to embark on a syariah-compliant banking business as well as charting its initiative on ESG in line with Sarawak’s Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030) toward inclusivity, sustainability and environment,” he said at the bank’s 5th anniversary dinner.

Mohamad Morshidi said DBOS had approved total loans of RM15.27bil, with a progressive drawdown of RM8.93bil since its establishment.

The bank’s total assets have grown to RM9.47bil, with retained earnings of about RM130.5mil as of October 2022. DBOS was launched in 2017 with a paid-up capital of RM500mil from Sarawak’s reserve funds.

Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who graced the anniversary dinner, said being a state-owned development financial institution, DBOS was mandated to fund strategic infrastructure projects that would transform the socio-economic well-being of Sarawakians.

He said these projects include the Sarawak Water Supply Grid programme, Sarawak Second Trunk Road and Sarawak Coastal Road and rural electrification scheme.

Also to be financed are other projects planned and implemented under agencies such as Integrated Regional Samarahan Development Agency and projects in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy region – the Upper Rajang Development Agency, Highland Development Agency and the Northern Regional Development Agency.

The development bank was asked to offer its financing facilities and services to the newly established Greater Kuching Coordinated Development Authority and Betong Integrated Development Agency.

DBOS has thus far facilitated and provided the state with the fiscal flexibility in strategising its development programmes whereby alternative sources of funding will ensure funds are readily available to keep the development momentum continuing without the uncertainties of scrambling to source funding from internally or from the federal government, nor be dependent on the public market.

Since its inception, total approved credit facilities for the state’s strategic projects stood at over RM15bil covering projects throughout Sarawak and encompassing several key mandated sectors. — By JACK WONG

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