The Dutch bank ABN Amro has started the Indian Sustainable Development
Fund. This follows the introduction of its SRI funds covering two other
emerging markets in China and Brazil.
The bank claims the Indian offer is the country’s first broadly screened SRI mutual fund.
Companies for investment are being chosen after evaluations by CRISIL,
an Indian research and ratings agency, and the US consultancy KLD
Research & Analytics. CRISIL has so far selected 245 companies from
a Standard & Poor’s list that it regards as having some merit in
terms of corporate governance and social and environmental policies.
ABN Amro will put 65 per cent of the fund’s assets into screened
companies and the rest into other stocks, debt and money market
products. The long-term aim is capital growth from socially responsible
companies that concentrate on sustainable development.
Melissa Brown, executive director of the Association for Sustainable
and Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA), said: ‘A number of Indian
companies are working on their sustainability profiles. By Asian
standards, Indian management teams have a high comfort level in talking
about the issues thanks to a strong civil society tradition.’
ABN AMRO Asset Management offers 24 country-specific SRI funds with
assets worth nearly €2billion ($2.7bn, £1.36bn) under management.