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More sustainable funds in Singapore

JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM) registers two green funds for retail investors in the Lion City.
Climate change, A drying tree with air pollution and green grass with beautiful sunlight sky metaphor world nature disaster and global warming concept.

The Luxembourg-domiciled Ucits products are the new JP Morgan Global Income Sustainable Fund (Sicav), and the more seasoned JP Morgan Emerging Markets Sustainable Equity Fund (Sicav).

The funds will complement the asset manager’s Global Bond Opportunities Sustainable Fund, which was registered for Singapore based retail investors last year, according to a statement by the firm.

“Singaporeans are increasingly looking at sustainable investing criteria when selecting investments, driven by a few different factors,” said Sherene Ban, CEO for Singapore and Southeast Asia at JPMAM.

Ban highlighted the focus from the Monetary Authority of Singapore in steering the financial sector towards stronger sustainability standards, and the trend among Singapore investors to find funds that are aligned with their “sustainable values” without compromising their financial objectives.

The Global Income Sustainable Fund is a diversified multi-asset income product, which takes a flexible approach to seek sustainable income opportunities from around the world and across the capital structure, incorporating exclusions and a positive ESG tilt in the investment process.

It also has two additional sustainability characteristics, according to the statement.

First, it excludes companies from 10 unsustainable sectors “based on client values, industry norms and regulation”.

Second, the fund leans towards securities with “more effective governance and superior management of environmental and social opportunities”.

The fund, which is managed by Michael Schoenhaut, Eric Bernbaum and Gary Herbert, also has lower carbon dioxide emissions (a reduction of over 50%) compared with its investment universe, as of 30 June 2020, said JPMAM, although specific portfolio holdings and allocations have not yet been published in a fund factsheet


The Emerging Markets Sustainable Equity Fund, which was first launched in Europe in 2019, aims to deliver long term capital growth by investing in emerging market companies, which are “best-in-class” for sustainable business practices and financial outcomes.

It has generated a 25.6% cumulative return since launch, slightly outperforming the average return of emerging market funds available in Singapore (24.7%), FE Fundinfo data shows.

The fund has 77% lower carbon dioxide emissions (a reduction from 259.7 tons to 59.2 tons, per U$1 million invested in the fund) compared with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, as of the end of December 2020, according to JPMAM.

The $134m fund, managed by Amit Mehta and John Citron, has large exposures to China, Taiwan and India, with top holdings including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, Tencent, Alibaba and HDFC Bank, the factsheet shows. The main sector allocations are financials, information technology and consumer staples.

“These funds, which are also available to European investors, already meet disclosure and reporting requirements in compliance with the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, providing full transparency around how sustainability risks are integrated into investment decisions as well as the likely impact of sustainability risks such as climate change,” said Ban.

JPMAM has around 450 ESG integrated, actively managed investment strategies representing $2.1trn of its client AUM as of 31 December 2020. It offers 18 dedicated sustainable products across different investment styles and asset classes, with $2.5bn in client AUM in sustainable funds, according to the statement.

The global sustainable investing team includes 15 dedicated specialists, led by Jennifer Wu, global head of sustainable investing.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.