Sun Life Asset Management in Hong Kong has received approval from the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) late last month to launch an ESG product to retail investors, according to records from the regulator’s records, as reported by ESG Clarity Asia’s sister publication, Fund Selector Asia.
The Sun Life AM Hong Kong ESG Index Fund has also been added to SFC’s list of “green and ESG” funds, which are products that have fulfilled the disclosure requirements set out by the regulator aimed at countering greenwashing. Currently, the list now includes 33 products.
When launched, this will the firm’s first product to be sold as a retail mutual fund in Hong Kong, the records show.
FSA sought more information from Sun Life AM, but the firm declined to provide additional details.
The firm’s move in Hong Kong comes at a time when investing in sustainable funds has increased in the territory.
According to a recent Schroders report, 38% of investors in Hong Kong this year have preferred to invest in sustainable funds over products that do not consider sustainability factors, versus the 26% of people who did in 2018, according to a recent Schroders report.
In the SAR, Sun Life AM’s insurance affiliate, Sun Life, offers investment-linked assurance products, as well as mandatory provident fund (MPF) and occupational retirement schemes ordinance (ORSO) schemes, according to the firm’s website.
Separately, the Canadian insurance firm also opened a branch in Singapore in August to offer life insurance solutions to high net worth clients, according to a statement from the firm at the time. Elsewhere, Sun Life has a presence in the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
In Asia, Sun Life’s wealth and asset management businesses have C$52bn ($39.26bn) in assets under management, according to the statement.
Besides Hong Kong, the asset management business is also active in the Philippines and offers 16 mutual fund products in the country. Recently, the firm rolled out its first feeder fund in the country.