Photo Credit: Matt Kenyon. Source: Financial Times

Bahrain's Gulf International Bank (GIB) became the first bank in the country to close financing linked to sustainability. GIB secured a $625-million sustainability-linked syndicated loan through 20 global investors, a number first set at $500 million but then oversubscribed when commitments reached $1.1 billion.

The 'landmark transaction', as described by GIB in its statement, takes in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics 'related to reductions in carbon emissions, gender diversity and sustainability reporting.' ESG metrics are a more or less recent trend that's peaking investors' interest as they're non-financial factors that help guide better investments by identifying material risks and growth opportunities.

In GIB's case, a bank 97.2% owned by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund while the rest is distributed among the remaining GCC countries, this step establishes it as a forward-thinking institute.