Rene Buehlmann, abrdn
With $2bn of AUM as at the end of May, the abrdn Asia Pacific Equity Fund is going to be renamed as the Asia Pacific Sustainable Equity Fund after the conversion.
“The [Apac] Fund is well placed to take advantage of the huge opportunities, driven by the switch to sustainable development and the ongoing low-carbon energy transition,” said Rene Buehlmann, chief executive officer, Asia Pacific, abrdn.
The other two abrdn funds which are to align with Article 8 under the SFDR are the Global Innovation Equity Fund and the North American Smaller Companies Fund.
After the conversion, the updated framework includes formally widening the screening process and removing poorly-rated ESG companies from the investment universe, an abrdn spokesperson told FSA.
Each fund will also include specific ESG targets and lower carbon intensity than its benchmark.
The asset manager has noticed that there are positive changes at some quality companies in Apac, with better standards, disclosure and improvements in regulations around social and environmental behaviour, and better communication between companies and investors.
“The conversion of our Asia Pacific Sustainable Equity Fund positions us well to capture these opportunities and help investors play an active role in mobilising capital towards building a greener Asia,” said abrdn.
This latest change follows the 24 SICAV equity and fixed income funds which converted to Article 8 in April this year, and further enhances the firm’s established sustainable investment process.
abrdn declined to comment on whether it will obtain authorisation from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission to list the funds as ESG funds.
The three funds are available for retail investors in Hong Kong and accredited investors in Singapore, while the North American Smaller Companies Fund is also available to retail investors in Singapore as a MAS-recognised fund.