The Dutch pension asset manager's Asia Pacific head of real estate says his team has just had one of its busiest years ever and that 2021 is looking similarly promising.
Benchmarked against the MSCI World Index, the fund is advised by Integral Development Asset Management (Ideam), a subsidiary of Credit Agricole solely dedicated to SRI investments. Ideam uses an environmental screening filter created by Innovest Strategic Advisers, as well as financial criteria, to create an investment universe of 500 companies. A stock picking overlay is applied to create the final portfolio of between 200 and 230 stocks.
ôThe fund can invest in a whole range of companies,ö says Xavier de Bayser, president of Ideam. ôThis includes energy, utilities, financials, consumer staples, IT, telecommunications services and healthcare. Stock picking is mainly on the environmental protection dimension with no biases to market, sector or country.ö
InnovestÆs environmental research is based on a six-pronged ratings model that includes analysis of a companyÆs historical contingent liabilities, operational risk including toxic emissions and other waste discharge, as well as energy efficiency and the capacity to profit from environmental and industry trends.
Although the fund will not invest in Asian companies, Credit Agricole cited an increase in SRI awareness among Hong Kong investors as the main reason for expanding the Green Planet fundÆs distribution. ôAsia-Pacific is home to more than half of the world's population,ö says Nicolas Sauvage, director and head of business development, marketing and client servicing at CAAM in Hong Kong. ôAs such the way economies develop will have a profound impact on the health and stability of the entire world. Rapid growth of SRI in Europe and the United States is now being reflected by activity in Asia.ö
A survey commissioned by the Hong Kong-based Association of Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia (Asria) and conducted by the corporate and environmental governance program at Hong Kong University suggests that CAAM will benefit from a significant increase in awareness of SRI investing, albeit with a focus on certain sections of the population. The report found that the ideal SRI investor is likely to make weekly charitable contributions, have a high income, have a postgraduate education, be religiously active, have children and be a woman.
In its latest report on the SRI industry in Asia, Asria described Hong Kong as the second best developed market after Japan. In a further boost to the development of SRI, the first Carbon Disclosure Project report into the regionÆs corporations was published last month.
Mega players Nippon Life and Dai-ichi Life are looking for opportunities in higher-yield single-A US corporate bonds, which offer more appealing yields than stagnant domestic offerings.
The “lower for longer” monetary policy and stimulus packages, coupled with the rolling out of vaccine programmes favorably support real estate investing in the region, with offices and data centres presenting forward-looking opportunities.
As US fixed income default rates rose and yields fell during the pandemic, are Asian bonds, which have had more stable yields through 2020, looking more attractive?
Insto roundup: Norway's Oil Fund praises China governance efforts; NPS commits $100m to taxi-hailing app
Norway's Oil Fund welcome Chinese proposals improving transparency and shareholder protection; HK's MPF assets surge 35% year on year; Korea's NPS commits $100m to TPG consortium to invest in taxi-hailing app; Poba commits W270bn to European property; Malaysia's EPF sees investment income rise 59% year-on-year in first quarter, and more.