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Dutch bank sets up Indian SRI fund

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.

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