Friday Funds: Pictet soft closes green fund after €4bn growth spurt

The latest developments in ESG-related funds

Pictet Asset Management has soft closed its Global Environmental Opportunities Fund after attracting inflows of more than €4bn since the start of 2020. The €7.5bn fund, which launched in 2010 and invests primarily in equities linked to green goods and services, grew from just over €2bn a year ago. It is now closed to new retail investors and some new institutional investors, but remains open to existing clients. 

Vanguard has launched a new ESG ETF which tracks the FTSE Global All Cap Choice Index. The index excludes weapons companies, and companies involved in non-renewable energy and vices, as well as those involved in “controversies” relating to the UN Global Compact. 

Danske Bank has said it will phase out energy companies with coal and peat-fired power production from its funds and lending portfolios. As a first step, the rule will apply to companies with more than 5% revenue from thermal coal mining or peat and coal generation. 

BankInvest has launched a new passive investment fund for Danish equities. The fund has been given the Nordic Swan ecolabel, meaning that it cannot invest in fossil fuels, tobacco, weaponry and GMO crops, and 50% of its holding must be in companies with strong ESG practices.

Assets invested in ESG ETFs and ETPs listed globally reached $227bn at the end of February, according to research and consultancy firm ETFGI. ESG ETFs had a net inflow of $20.87bn in February, bringing net yearly inflows to $40.67bn.

Amundi has announced that 656 of its financial products, representing €452bn AUM, are classified under Articles 8 and 9 of the EU’s new Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, which came into force this month. Funds under Article 8 promote ESG among other characteristics, while Article 9 funds have sustainable investment as their core objective. IM Global Partner has also classified its OYSTER Sustainable Europe fund as an Article 9 Fund.

BNP Paribas Asset Management has launched three ‘Easy’ sustainable fixed-income ETFs. Its Easy EUR High Yield SRI Fossil Free fund invests in top-rated euro high yield corporate issuers. The Easy JPM ESG EMBI Global Diversified Composite ETF invests in emerging market sovereign and quasi-sovereign bonds, and the Easy JPM ESG EMU Government Bond IG 3-5 Year ETF tracks an index of Eurozone government bonds. All three ETFs exclude issuers which fail to comply with the UN Global Compact, and exclude controversial sectors.

Euronext has announced the launch of the CAC 40 ESG Index, which aims to identify the 40 companies within the CAC Large 60 Index with the best ESG practices. The index, using ESG data from Vigeo Eiris, incorporates norm-based exclusion filters based on the UN Global Compact Principles as well as exclusions for coal, controversial weapons and tobacco. According to Euronext, Amundi, BNP Paribas AM and Lyxor have confirmed their strong interest in licensing the index.