First fund launched to exploit Mexico’s surging new sustainability index

CIBanco unveils Fondo Verde linked to booming new index

Mexican banking group CIBanco’s brokerage arm is launching the first fund tied to the domestic stock exchange’s new – and surging – sustainability index.

The new Fondo Verde (‘green fund’) from CI Casa de Bolsa will be linked to the Índice IPC Sustentable benchmark that was launched by the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV) in December 2011.

“The objective of the Green Fund is to integrate a portfolio of companies with a strong commitment to environmental sustainability and high profitability,” CI Casa de Bolsa’s CEO Remis Jaime Gonzalez told El Economista.

The fund’s minimum investment is MXN10,000 (€594) and it’s estimated it could grow to MXN100m (€6m) in 2013. The sustainability index was put together with the help of local consulting firm EcoValores and partner EIRIS, the UK-based environmental, social and governance researcher. EcoValores’ Luisa Montes said the index has outperformed the BMV’s main IPC index by 30% since launch.“The return of the index has been a driver for responsible investment funds,” she said at a briefing organised by EIRIS.

Also in December last year, the pension fund regulator asked pension funds to look at ESG issues at their portfolio companies, Montes said. She also suggested that a regional social investment forum, or SIF, could also help to drive responsible investment.

Another factor has been the Wal-Mart bribery allegations relating to the US retailer’s operations in Mexico, which has helped to focus investors’ attention on ESG issues.

The BMV is the second largest stock exchange in Latin America after Brazil’s BM&FBOVESPA. As of yet, there are no signatories to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment in Mexico.

Meanwhile, the BM&FBOVESPA’s ISE corporate sustainability index is up 12.53% for the year to the end of September and 22.26% over 12 months.
CI Casa de Bolsa link