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July 13, 2020updated 27 Jul 2020 12:19pm

Sustainable investments continue to grow in Asia

By Patrick Brusnahan

Over the next three years, 43% of investors in Asia said they are considering putting between 5% and 10% of their funds into sustainable investments.

In addition, 8% were looking to invest more than 25%. Also, 39% of those in Singapore considered giving 5% to 15% towards sustainable investments.

This is according to Standard Chartered and its Sustainable Investing Review 2020 report.

It surveyed around 1,000 investors with a focus on affluent and HNW investors in Singapore, Hong Kong, the UAE and the UK.

Overall, 90% of respondents in Asia said they are interested in sustainable investments and plan to invest between 5% and 10% in this area.

Furthermore, there was a sense that investors needed more information regarding sustainable investments. 98% of affluent investors were interested, but 93% were apprehensive about investing in this field. 45% of Singapore’s affluent and HNW investors were highly apprehensive about sustainable investing.

In terms of understanding, Singapore ranked the highest in understanding sustainable living, responsible investing, and social investing. However, it fell behind it UAE and the UK when it came to impact investing and second to Hong Kong in ESG investing, ethical investing, low carbon investing and socially responsible investing.

Sumeet Bhambri, Regional Head of Wealth Management, ASEAN and South Asia and head of wealth Management, Singapore, Standard Chartered Bank, said: “There is definitely heightened interest and greater demand among investors in Singapore to make a positive impact on society and the environment, while still achieving their financial goals.

“What is important is closing the gap between investor interest and awareness of the ESG solutions available to them. Since we started an ESG awareness campaign in June 2020, investor interest has surged, and we have seen a 90% AuM growth in ESG funds offered on our platform. Our goal at the end of the day is to help clients make better informed decisions when investing in companies that incorporate ESG criteria and practices to improve the risk assessment and long-term return profile of their investments and future-proof their portfolios.”

Steve Atkinson, Regional Head of Private Banking EMEA, Standard Chartered Private Bank, said: “Interest in sustainable investments continues to grow, despite market disruptions amid COVID-19.  Our new Sustainable Investing Review reveals that around 71 per cent of the UK’s affluent and HNW investors said they were highly interested in sustainable investing.”

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