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Exclusive survey finds asset owners sharpening ESG focus in Asia

The results of a new survey by AsianInvestor and S&P Dow Jones Indices show clearer direction and growing appetite for more sustainable themes in investor portfolios.
Exclusive survey finds asset owners sharpening ESG focus in Asia

Interest is growing among asset owners across Asia in environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, spurred by the resilience of ESG funds during the market volatility amid Covid-19.

This was clear from the survey, entitled “Does ESG Matter?", launched to understand how, why and where ESG themes and related processes are impacting portfolios and asset allocation.

Key take-aways of senior investment executives from 38 institutions across Asia - representing over $1.5 trillion in AUM - included:

  • 71% of respondents point to either a "high" or "medium" likelihood of increasing ESG factors in their portfolios over the next 12 months
  • The three most ESG popular investment themes in 2020 are: clean energy; lower carbon emissions; and improved governance
  • Amid various drivers to incorporate ESG considerations in investment decisions, 24% say their motivation is to enhance the public image of the organisation, with the same number looking to improve returns
  • As at the end of the first quarter of 2020, 68% had less than 10% of their portfolio invested in ESG-related mandates
  • Their two biggest concerns about embracing ESG are a lack of quality or standardised data, and a limited understanding internally about the value of ESG
  • 37% believe clearer governance and ESG processes internally would help in incorporating ESG in a more meaningful way in the investment process
  • 42% say the responsibility for driving ESG standards should come from governments and regulators

You can download a copy of the full survey findings and charts via this link.

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