Japan-based investment firm Mercuria Holdings Co., Ltd. has partnered Singapore financial services group Overseas-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (OCBC) to launch a fund to finance sustainability projects in ASEAN.

Mercuria said in a statement on Tuesday that it has signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with OCBC the MOU is for business partnership to create a credit fund with the theme of ASEAN sustainability.

According to the statement, the credit fund will provide debt to projects and businesses that are expected to contribute to improving sustainability in Asia including decarbonization.

It is noted that since its establishment in 2005, Mercuria Investment Group has developed investment strategies in accordance with the macro environment from time to time, based on its key concept of “Cross-Border.”

In addition to the fund business above, by providing a platform where Japanese and Asian companies including OCBC and Mercuria involved in these funds and activities can strengthen their business relationship, the firm aims to create and promote new business in Japan and other Asian countries.

Mercuria expects that its fund, activities, and the platform will strengthen and promote business ecosystem that includes Japan and ASEAN.

It is also noted that the activities undertaken through the business partnership with OCBC are expected to be in line with the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) concept advocated by the Japanese government.

As business and technological alliances that lead to the AZEC concept are being formed among a number of companies, OCBC and Mercuria aim to provide financial support through
our fund business to improve sustainability in the ASEAN region, including the realization of carbon neutrality.

In response to these changes in the macro environment, Mercuria said new projects, including renewable energy-related projects, are being developed in the Asian region, and the associated financing needs are expanding.

By collaborating with OCBC which has a strong regional network in Asia, it hopes to pursue and realize business opportunities in Asia with more businesses.

It is learnt that in January 2022, the Japanese government announced the AZEC initiative, which aims to encourage Asian countries to collaborate on decarbonization.

In particular, AZEC aims to implement realistic methods and processes, including ensuring energy security and achieving economic growth, taking into account the actual conditions of each Asian country.

As part of this activity, on March 4, 2023, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in Japan hosted the Asia Zero Emissions Community (AZEC) Ministerial Meeting.

Ministers from Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam participated in the meeting and issued a joint statement toward carbon neutrality/net zero emissions in the Asian region.

OCBC is the longest established Singapore bank, formed in 1932 from the merger of three local banks, the oldest of which was founded in 1912.

The bank is the second largest financial services group in Southeast Asia by assets.

The group offers a broad array of commercial banking, specialist financial and wealth management services, ranging from consumer, corporate, investment, private and transaction banking to treasury, insurance, asset management and stockbroking services.

OCBC’s private banking services are provided by its wholly-owned subsidiary Bank of Singapore, which operates on a unique open-architecture product platform to source for the
best-in-class products to meet its clients’ goals.

Its insurance subsidiary, Great Eastern Holdings, is the oldest and most established life insurance group in Singapore and Malaysia.

Its asset management subsidiary, Lion Global Investors, is one of the leading asset management companies in Southeast Asia.

The group’s key markets are Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Greater China. It has more than 410 branches and representative offices in 19 countries and regions.

Singapore’s OCBC rolls out generative AI chatbot to all employees globally