FUND MANAGEMENT NEWS

NEW CHINESE ESG INDEX LAUNCHED
Provider of sustainability ratings and indexing solutions ECP International has teamed up with China Securities Index to create the CSI ECPI China Environmental and Social Governance 40 Equity Index. The first of its kind, the index identifies the 40 highest ESG-rated companies amongst the Chinese SSE180 Corporate Governance Index and will allow market participants to track the performance of China’s sustainable companies. Sustainability disclosures are becoming essential to funds’ decisions. ECP International’s Paolo Sardi said: “The index is not only a tool for investors looking for opportunities to invest in China, but will also encourage Chinese companies to raise their ESG benchmark.”

NEWHAM SIGNS UP TO PROPERTY FUND
The London Borough of Newham Pension Fund yesterday announced it had signed up to the Mill Group’s Investors in Housing Fund, which provides institutions with a low-risk way of investing in the residential property sector. The fund is scheduled to be launched in the first quarter of next year and will concentrate initially on London and the South East. It will give prospective homebuyers access to the capital needed to purchase their house through a process of co-investment.

THREADNEEDLE TOP SRI FUND MANAGER
Threadneedle Asset Management has been named the leading fund management firm for SRI in the annual Thomson Reuters Extel/UKSIF Socially Responsible Investing & Sustainability Survey, published last Friday. It pipped Aviva Global Investors and BlackRock Investment Management. French banks were the leading brokerage firms for SRI research with Societe Generale holding onto its top spot followed by CA Cheuvreux.

EMERGING MARKET BOND FUNDS IN FAVOUR
Emerging market bond fund assets have grown by 53 per cent over the first seven months of the year in Europe reaching €96.4bn by the end of July, data from Lipper showed yesterday. Emerging market products account for 29 per cent of all flows into bond funds from European investors in 2010 so far. However, bond funds restricted to Eastern Europe have fared comparatively less well.