Citi’s revenues in Asia fell 7% in the second quarter, but some of its businesses are performing well in the region. Among them is sustainable finance, for which Citi raised more than $25bn for clients in Asia Pacific in the first half of 2021, a year-on-year increase of about 400%, according to a statement from the bank.
Sustainability is becoming more important to an increasing range of jobs at the US bank in Asia. “The scope of our sustainable financing efforts is growing continuously and covers all client segments - from investors repositioning their portfolios towards greener industries, to corporates realigning their business models through acquisitions and divestitures,” Citi Asia Pacific chief executive Peter Babej said in the statement to mark the launch of a new Asian survey on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) on Friday.
In April, Citi committed $1 trillion to sustainable finance by 2030. Asia appears to be crucial to these plans. “In this effort, we are conscious that our region is in a critical position – both in accounting for almost half of global emissions, and in its particular exposure to climate-driven human and economic risks. Asia can and must be a leader in driving positive change across the globe,” said Babej.
If you’re minded to work in sustainable finance in Singapore, Citi is likely to provide more job opportunities in the near future. But so are other banks as the sector starts to flourish locally.
Deutsche Bank is hiring following its decision in May to launch a centre of excellence in Singapore for environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG).
DBS, Temasek, Standard Chartered and SGX announced in May that they are launching a joint venture global carbon exchange later this year. In April, UOB appointed Eric Lim into the newly created position of chief sustainability officer. Lim wants the bank to reach $15bn in sustainability loans by 2023, and has highlighted an estimated $1 trillion in sustainable opportunities across Southeast Asia.
What kind of roles are being generated in the sustainability field in Singapore? OCBC recently provided some answers. The bank ;=`oduct development, sustainability research, ESG assessment, ESG reporting, ESG regulatory and compliance, sustainable stewardship, and community development and environment conservation programmes. Singapore’s second largest bank has also launched a suite of training modules to groom more sustainability specialists.
There are also sustainability opportunities outside of banking. Moody’s ESG Solutions Group opened a new office in Singapore in February and currently has seven vacancies in the unit.
In June, the Monetary Authority of Singapore identified sustainable finance and family offices as “new growth” areas within the finance sector.
If you want to work on in-demand products in sustainable finance, the new survey from Citi has some suggestions. When asked to select the top sustainable and green finance instruments to help them meet their goals, respondents chose green bonds, ESG-linked working capital financing and green loans. The survey was conducted by Citi in Q1 among 259 institutional clients in 14 APAC markets.
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