Asia continues to lag other regions for integrating ESG principles with investing; better data and stronger regulatory requirements will help institutional investors, market observers say.
The Global Innovators Fund is UBS Global Asset ManagementÆs second open-end mutual fund In Taiwan and is its latest socially responsible investment (SRI) portfolio. The companyÆs SRI funds provide investors with products aimed at offering sustainable growth by incorporating social and environmental criteria in addition to conventional financial-analysis factors.
The fund focuses on investing in small- and mid-cap companies which specialise in developing innovative products and services that contribute toward providing alternative solutions in the three key areas of energy, water and demography. Denominated in Taiwan dollars, the fund is expected to raise up to NT$6.5 billion ($200 million)
ôIn the energy area, due to the climate change, companies that efficiently convert geothermal energy into electricity are likely to gain in significance as their methods become more sophisticated and demand for their capabilities increase,ö says Evelyn Yeh, a portfolio manager at UBS Global Asset Management (Taiwan) Limited.
ôCompanies that contribute towards sewage treatment, remove impurities from water so it becomes drinkable and the desalination of sea water are also likely to be particularly successful over the long-term,ö she adds. ôIn the area of demographics, the growth market of organic food is particular appealing while health care service firms that help reduce health care costs also look promising.ö
UBS Global Asset ManagementÆs SRI team, the investment advisor of the fund, was established over 10 years ago and manages more than $2 billion in SRI strategies. The companyÆs total assets under management worldwide is around $750 billion.
In January this year, UBS Global Asset Management launched the UBS Asian Real Estate Securities Fund in Taiwan, which targeted the growth potential of the Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) market in Asia-Pacific.
The appetite of institutional investors for green, social, and sustainable bonds that bring clear environmental and socio-economic benefits shows no sign of waning.
The German insurer has plans for the property sector in Australia and China too.
Global investors are advised to look selectively at Japanese equities as the country recovers from lockdown and continues to improve corporate governance.
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