SFC expands list of ESG products

They include new products that will be managed by Haitong International AM and Sun Life Asset Management.

First published in late-December by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, the list of ESG-approved funds includes products that meet new ESG disclosure requirements aimed at countering greenwashing.

These disclosure requirements include the fund’s key investment focus, ESG analysis and evaluation methodologies and what the firm believes to be relevant “green” or ESG criteria. The requirements were set out by the regulator in April last year.

In February, the list was expanded to include nine more mutual funds. Since then, four more products were added, according to the regulator’s website.

They include new products that will be managed by Sun Life Asset Management in Hong Kong, as well as a China A-share ETF that was recently launched by Haitong Investment Management.

The Sun Life AM Hong Kong ESG Index Fund is also the firm’s first retail mutual fund in the SAR, while the Haitong MSCI China A ESG ETF will be the territory’s first broad-based ESG ETF that invests in A-shares.

The other funds that were added on the list are Ninety One’s Global Environment Fund, which was first launched in Europe last year and was made available to Hong Kong retail investors in June, and BNP Paribas Asset Management’s Energy Transition Fund – which was previously a fund focused on oil and gas.

In total, SFC’s ESG list now has 32 mutual funds and two ETFs.

“The list of green and ESG funds does not constitute an official recommendation of these products or a guarantee of their green or ESG attributes or related performance,” the SFC notes on the website.