Friday Funds: $3bn switched from conventional iShares funds to ESG versions over one week

The latest developments in ESG-related funds

Almost $3bn was switched from two BlackRock ETFs to their ESG equivalents last week, according to data. Based on information from Ultumus, the iShares Edge MSCI USA Value Factor UCITS ETF and iShares Edge MSCI USA Momentum Factor UCITS ETF saw outflows of $1.5bn and $1.4bn respectively in the week ending the 9th of July.  Over the same period, there were corresponding inflows into their two ESG equivalents: the iShares MSCI USA Momentum Factor ESG UCITS ETF and iShares MSCI USA Value Factor ESG UCITS ETF.

Meanwhile, BlackRock has launched an Emerging Markets Impact Bond Fund, which holds 50-60 green-, social- and sustainability-labelled bonds, or bonds from issuers with strong ESG characteristics. It is benchmarked against the JP Morgan ESG Green Bond Emerging Markets Index. 

Wealth manager Australian Ethical has increased its assets under management by 50% over the past 12 months, growing from A$4bn (€2.5bn) to A$6.07bn. Of that, A$1bn was inflows – up 56% on the previous year.

Storebrand Asset Management has hit the NOK1tn (€96bn) mark, with an increase of NOK50bn in assets during the second quarter of 2021 – an 18% year-on-year increase. 

FTSE Russell has launched a series of green impact bond indices aligned to Climate Bonds Initiative standards. The series includes US and European green impact bond indices. The total market value for bonds in the global index is $661.4bn, with a weighted average coupon of 1.52%.

Quilter Investors has added the Jupiter Global Sustainable Equities fund, Premier Miton European Sustainable Leaders fund and the Regnan Global Impact Equities fund to its Cirilium range.

Invesco has launched exchange-traded funds for ESG high-yield corporate bonds and ESG emerging markets equities. The corporate bond fund will track the Bloomberg Barclays MSCI USD High Yield Liquid Corporate ESG Weighted SRI Bond Index, which excludes bonds from emerging market issuers or those with an MSCI ESG rating below BB or involved in severe ESG controversies. The equities fund will track an index based on the MSCI Emerging Markets index, with additional arms, oil sands, terham coal and tobacco screens, and exclusions for firms with low ESG scores or severe controversies.

Gresham House Energy Storage Fund has raised £100m from a new share issue, which it said was “significantly oversubscribed”. The company plans to use the money to finance the construction of four battery energy storage systems totalling 240MW. With the new share issue, the company has raised £458m from investors, and has a total portfolio capacity of 425MW.

Tikehau Capital has launched a high yield impact credit fund which will invest in a combination of green/sustainability-linked bonds, unlabelled green bonds from ‘pureplays’, bonds from signatories to international climate pledges, and issuers that can help climate mitigation or adaptation. The fund will target a 30% carbon intensity reduction versus the ICE Global High Yield ESG Tilt Index, and will invest a minimum of 25% in issuers highly exposed to climate risk that need to accelerate their transition, and where “impact can be meaningful”.

Northern Trust Asset Management has launched a Quality Low Volatility Low Carbon World Strategy – an actively managed quantitative equity strategy with a lower carbon footprint than the MSCI World. At its launch, the strategy had achieved a 50% reduction in carbon intensity versus the benchmark.

Insurance company MAPFRE has launched a renewable energy fund in partnership with Kobus Partners, and a co-investment vehicle in partnership with Spanish utility Iberdrola. The co-investment vehicle, first announced in April, is 80% owned by MAPFRE.

UK-based responsible investment house EdenTree Investment Management has launched a range of actively-managed Responsible and Sustainable Multi-Asset funds. The funds include negative screens and engagement strategies.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Zero Gap Fund has mobilised $521m in private investment towards environmental and social impact solutions – up from $385m in 2019. Investments made by the fund include a solar hydro-panel company, a women’s livelihood bond and a forest resilience bond.