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Blackrock preps global ESG bond fund in Singapore

The manager is also planning to roll out a product focusing on five "megatrends".

Blackrock has filed an application with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to launch the BGF ESG Fixed Income Global Opportunities Fund to retail investors in the Lion City, according to the regulator’s records.

The fund was first launched in April this year and is currently only available in Europe, according to FE Fundinfo.

The firm intends to use data provided by external ESG research providers and proprietary models for the fund, according to its prospectus.

It will also exclude investments in controversial weapons, coal extraction and generation and tobacco-related companies, as well as companies that have breached at least one of the 10 United Nations Global Compact Principles, which cover human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption.

The firm already has a global fixed income product available in Singapore – the Fixed Income Global Opportunities Fund, but the prospectus does not mention of any ESG factors being used in its investment process.

The move follows after Blackrock launched four emerging market ESG fixed income funds in 2018 in the Lion City. It has also rolled out two other ESG products in Singapore, which include a mixed-asset and an equity product, according to FE Fundinfo.

Other firms are also preparing to launch ESG products in Singapore this year, including Schroders, Natixis IM affiliate Mirova and Fidelity.

Multi-Theme Equity Fund

Separately, the Blackrock’s Multi-Theme Equity Fund is also waiting for approval from the MAS.

The product was originally launched in Europe in July this year, according to FE Fundinfo.

The fund is an actively managed fund of funds that invests in products managed by Blackrock, including iShares Exchange Traded Funds and other mutual funds managed by the Blackrock Group, according to its fund factsheet. It may also invest directly in equity securities as well as in financial derivative instruments.

The fund’s aim is to gain exposure to five “megatrends” which include technological innovation, demographics and social change, rapid organisation, climate change and resource scarcity, and emerging global wealth, according to the fund’s prospectus.

The fund will also have a focus in developed markets globally, the factsheet added, but noted that it may also invest some of its assets in emerging markets.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.