BlackRock launches socially responsible ETFs

BlackRock launches socially responsible ETFs

BlackRock has launched two exchange-traded funds to give investors access to socially-responsible investments.

The new ETFs, which will be added to the group’s iShare range, track indices which consist of companies with MSCI environmental, social and governance ratings levels of at least BB.

The indices assess companies on 37 key environmental, social and governance factors, including carbon emissions and business ethics, limiting exposure to activities involving alcohol, tobacco, gambling, firearms, nuclear power, adult entertainment and genetically modified organisms.

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Tom Fekete, head of product for the EMEA arm of iShares, said the long-term responsible investment approach is growing into a mainstream trend.

The iShares Sustainable MSCI Emerging Markets tracks the MSCI Emerging Markets SRI index, which includes large and mid-cap equities across 23 emerging market countries.

It has a yearly charge of 0.35 per cent.

The iShares Sustainable MSCI US SRI Ucits ETF tracks the MSCI US SRI index, which includes large and mid-cap companies in the US.

It has a yearly charge of 0.3 per cent.

BlackRock launched an exchange-traded fund euro-denominated sustainable corporate bonds earlier this year.

Adviser Verdict

Dan Farrow, director of SBN Wealth Management, said: “I must admit that I don’t have any specific demand within my client base for ‘sustainable’ or ‘socially responsible’ investments.

“This may be another one of the many thousands of ETFs that get seed funded and end up being run with a few million pounds of assets.

“This is a niche area, but mainstream clients want positive performance and aren’t too concerned if the companies within their portfolio are destroying the earth responsibly or irresponsibly.”