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Aberdeen Standard Investments launches Asian Sustainable Development Equity Fund

31 August 2020

Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) has launched a new Asian Sustainable Development Equity Fund, which is aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

The asset manager says the fund will invest, in “quality Asian companies that aim to deliver an attractive return while making a positive contribution to society”.

It will be managed by ASI’s 50-strong Asia Pacific equities team and will invest in a portfolio of 30-60 high-conviction stocks, focusing on Asian markets that present strong growth potential and where there are significant opportunities to identify and allocate capital to the unmet-needs highlighted by UN SDGs*.

It will leverage ASI’s eight-pillar framework for assessing a company’s alignment to the SDGs. Through active engagements, the investment team will also seek to drive positive changes in corporate behaviour, increase the SDG alignment of holdings, and encourage better disclosure of SDG alignment by companies.

The fund will also receive input from ASI’s central team of 20 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) experts as well as ESG analysts within the wider Global Emerging Markets Equities team.

“While some progress has been made towards achieving the UN’s SDG’s by 2030, people in many Asian countries are still not benefiting from growth and progress and are increasingly vulnerable to economic, social and environmental risks,” said David Smith, head of Corporate Governance – Asia Pacific. “By investing in companies based or operating in Asia Pacific economies, which are strongly aligned to the UN’s SDGs, this new fund seeks to deliver both attractive return for our clients and a positive societal impact – where it matters most.”

Flavia Cheong, head of Asia Pacific Equities, added: “ESG has been part of our investment DNA for almost three decades. As responsible investors, we believe that supporting the SDGs creates tangible opportunities for Asian companies to contribute positively to society and the environment, while enhancing the long-term financial value of their businesses.”

The fund is a Luxembourg-domiciled SICAV I.

* The UN’s 17 SDGs came into force in 2016, designed to help address some of the world’s biggest environmental and societal challenges, such as poverty, inequality and climate change.

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