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March 8, 2019

BlackRock rolls out new sustainable ETF range

American asset manager BlackRock has unveiled a new ETF range, which will offer exposure to companies with high ESG scores.

The new equity iShares ESG Enhanced ETF suite comprises six funds.

The vehicles will invest in firms, whose carbon footprint is 30% less compared to the benchmark.

Firms dealing with controversial and nuclear weapons, civilian firearms, tobacco, thermal coal and oil sands will be excluded in the process.

Also restricted will be those firms that are embroiled in severe controversies or have breached the United Nations Global Compact principles.

BlackRock global head of iShares product Carolyn Weinberg said: “Our Sustainable Core ETF range is about setting a global catalyst for choice and transparency that allows investors to apply ESG considerations into the foundation of their portfolios.

“With these new funds, iShares has established the industry’s most comprehensive family of funds, accounting for the variety in investment objectives and preferences that our clients have expressed.”

The ETF range will join other sustainable funds previously launched by BlackRock. In August last year, four emerging market debt funds, which incorporate a sustainable investing approach.

BlackRock estimates European ESG ETF assets to grow from the current figure of $12bn to $250bn by 2028.

In announcing the new offering, BlackRock cited a study by Greenwich Associates.

Of the 127 institutional ETF investors polled in the study, around half expect to have over 50% of their assets adhering to ESG criteria in the coming five years.

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