Aberdeen Standard Investments launches Asian Sustainable Development Equity Trust

Aberdeen Standard Investments launches Asian Sustainable Development Equity Trust

David Smith

Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) has launched a new Asian Sustainable Development Equity Fund.

Aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), the fund will invest in quality Asian companies that aim to deliver an attractive return while making a positive contribution to society.

The Luxembourg-domiciled Aberdeen Standard SICAV I – Asian Sustainable Development Equity Fund 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.

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.

The fund will leverage ASI’s established 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 our holdings, and encourage better disclosure of SDG alignment by companies.

The Fund will be managed by ASI’s 50-strong Asia Pacific Equities team which has a track record of investing in Asia since the 1980s. Our large footprint in the region allows the team to identify a diverse set of high-quality SDG-aligned investment opportunities across developed, emerging and frontier markets in Asia.

It will also benefit from the extensive knowledge and expertise of our central team of 20 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) experts as well as ESG analysts within the wider Global Emerging Markets Equities team.

David Smith, head of corporate governance, Asia Pacific, said: “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. 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 has initially been registered for sale in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.  

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