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Blackrock pushes more ESG solutions in Singapore

Several other fund managers are expected to roll out sustainable or ESG funds in the Lion City.

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

The Ireland-domiciled fund was first launched in March to investors in Europe, according to FE Fundinfo.

The global equity fund invests in companies that have an impact on people and the planet across different themes, such as affordable housing, education and skilling, financial and digital inclusion, public health, safety and security, efficiency, electrification and digitalisation, green energy, pollution remediation and prevention, sustainable food, water and waste, according to the fund’s factsheet.

The fund has a bias toward developed market countries, but may invest up to 30% of its assets in any emerging or frontier market. It may also invest up to 20% of its assets in China A-Shares traded via the Hong Kong-China stock connect schemes, and up to 10% of its AUM in the Russian markets, it added.

The largest geographic exposure is the US (54.96%) and the highest sector exposure is healthcare (23.24%), followed by information technology (19.01%) and utilities (12.03%), the factsheet shows.

The fund’s top sector, country exposure, and top 10 holdings

FSA contacted the firm for more information but it declined to comment.

Blackrock has been active in launching ESG or sustainable funds in Singapore. In September, the firm filed an application with the MAS to launch the BGF ESG Fixed Income Global Opportunities Fund. In 2018, the firm also rolled out four emerging market ESG fixed income funds in 2018 in the Lion City.

The firm has two other ESG funds in Singapore, which are the Blackrock ESG Multi-Asset Fund (launched in 1999) and the Systematic ESG World Equity Fund (launched in 2015), according to FEFundinfo.

The Blackrock Global Impact Fund vs category average and benchmark since inception

Source: FE Fundinfo. In US dollars.

Regulatory support

In anticipation of increasing demand for ESG solutions, the MAS has urged asset managers operating in Singapore to launching more ESG and sustainable funds.

“Asset managers should seize this opportunity to launch robust green and sustainable focused fund strategies, in anticipation of rising demand from investors in a post-Covid-19 world,” Jacqueline Loh, deputy managing director at the MAS, said in a keynote speech during the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network Virtual Conference held in June.

Other firms that are expected to roll out ESG funds in Singapore include Pimco, JP Morgan Asset Management, Manulife Investment Management, Schroders, Natixis IM affiliate Mirova and Fidelity.

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