Environmental News Archive

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Banks urged to help protect the environment

BY Conrad Tan
7 September 2007
Business Times Singapore

Top Doha Bank exec is here to attend his bank's global warming seminar

THE deputy chief executive of Qatar's Doha Bank says it is vital that banks act to protect the environment - and is in town to spread his message of sustainable development.

'Financial institutions have got the power to make it happen,' R Seetharaman told BT yesterday, during a visit to speak at a seminar on global warming and environment protection organised by the bank's representative office here.

A central part of his message is that banks should set aside some of their resources to invest in alternative energy and environmental causes.

Corporate social responsibility and profits are not mutually exclusive, he said.

'We have enough reasons to believe we can achieve 20-25 per cent returns' on investments such as biofuel, wind energy and solar energy production. 'Currently, nobody is attempting it.'

Mr Seetharaman has been the public face of the bank's drive to promote awareness of socially relevant issues and social causes over the past few years.

Doha Bank, which is listed on the Doha stock exchange, is Qatar's biggest commercial bank and its shareholders include members of the emirate's royal family.

It has overseas branches in New York and Dubai and representative offices in Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai and Istanbul.

The office here has just three staff now, headed by M Sathyamoorthy, but Mr Seetharaman said: 'We'll be growing.'

According to the bank's financial statements, it had assets of 26.6 billion Qatari riyal (S$11.14 billion) at end-June.

Its net profit for the three months from April to June was 239.2 million Qatari riyal and net interest income was 163.9 million Qatari riyal.