IN THIS LIST

Do Physical and Transition Climate Risks Translate Into Investment Risks?

Global Sector Primer Series: Health Care

Expanding the ESG Toolkit with the Dow Jones Select Green Real Estate Securities Indices

Bringing Transparency to an Emerging Asset Class: S&P Cryptocurrency Indices

RIATalks India: A Practical Look at Passive Investing

Do Physical and Transition Climate Risks Translate Into Investment Risks?

Contributor Image
Jaspreet Duhra

Managing Director, Global Head of ESG Indices

As climate risk becomes better understood, interest in ESG investing grows. Jaspreet Duhra, Global Head of ESG Indices, and Muhammad Masood, Director of iShares Sustainable Investing, explore what’s driving heightened adoption of ESG strategies, ways to assess companies’ physical and transition climate risks, and the wide range of targeted ESG strategies now accessible to market participants looking to mitigate risks like these.

S&P DJI: ESG investing has become a more mainstream notion in recent years. What catalysts do you see driving that shift?

Muhammad: We are seeing a shift toward sustainable investing. To put this into context, EMEA investors are anticipating nearly 50% of their AUM to be in sustainable investing by 2025—this is up from just 21% in 2020.1 We have already started to see this fundamental reallocation of capital; in 2020, there were net inflows of USD 425 billion into sustainable assets globally. In H1 2021, we have already seen USD 353 billion.

This shift into sustainable investing has resulted from a range of factors, driven by changing consumer and investor preferences, improved sustainability data, and more sustainable investment options designed to meet various ESG and investment goals and the requirements of increasing regulation. This is fueling a global reallocation of capital toward more sustainable companies, which we expect to continue over many years.

S&P DJI: What role do you see for index-based strategies and ETFs in ESG investing?

Muhammad: Index investing has become a more common option for many investors looking to integrate sustainable considerations into their portfolio, and we see this through asset growth. AUM in index mutual funds and ETFs stands at over USD 630 billion as of June 2021, compared to just USD 469 billion at the end of 2020 and USD 220 billion at the end of 2019.

Much of this demand comes down to the choice that exists in the indexing space. Sustainable index funds and ETFs are covering exposures across almost every corner of the equity and fixed income investment universe and investors can also choose the sustainable approach that works for them. They can pick a business-involvement screened product, an ESG-tilted fund that maintains minimal tracking error with its underlying index, or a product that selects only the top ESG performers. Thematic and impact investing are also possible through ETFs, for example through clean energy and green bond ETFs. The rules-based approach adopted by index funds and ETFs can bring greater control and transparency to sustainable investing. Investors can learn the datasets being used, the criteria for security selection and weighting, and ultimately have full transparency into the ETF holdings, potentially giving them insight into why certain companies or issuers are being chosen and why others are excluded. As the regulatory landscape around sustainability evolves and investors look to adapt to this, index-based investing can play an instrumental role. 

pdf-icon PD F Download Full Article

Global Sector Primer Series: Health Care

Contributor Image
Michael Orzano

Senior Director, Global Equity Indices

Contributor Image
Hector Huitzil Granados

Analyst, Global Equity Indices

INTRODUCTION

The Global Industry Classification Standard® (GICS®) assigns companies to a single classification at the sub-industry level according to their principal business activity using quantitative and qualitative factors, including revenues, earnings, and market perception.  The sub-industry is the most specific level of the four-tiered, hierarchical industry classification system that includes 11 sectors, 24 industry groups, 69 industries, and 158 sub-industries.

The Health Care sector includes companies primarily engaged in:

  • Manufacturing healthcare equipment and devices;
  • Owning and operating healthcare facilities;
  • Research, development, or production of pharmaceuticals;
  • Research, development, manufacturing, or marketing of products based on genetic analysis and genetic engineering; or
  • Enabling the drug discovery, development, and production continuum.

As outlined in Exhibit 1, the S&P Global 1200 Health Care comprises 2 industry groups, 6 industries, and 10 sub-industries, and it includes all companies in the S&P Global 1200 that are classified as members of the GICS Health Care sector.

Launched in September 1999, the S&P Global 1200 provides efficient exposure to the global equity market.  The index is float-adjusted market-capitalization weighted and measures the performance of large-cap stocks from major markets around the world.  Capturing about 70% of the global market capitalization, the S&P Global 1200 is constructed as a composite of seven country and regional headline indices, many of which are accepted leaders in their regions.  These include the S&P 500® (U.S.), S&P Europe 350®, S&P TOPIX 150 (Japan), S&P/TSX 60 (Canada), S&P/ASX All Australian 50, S&P Asia 50, and S&P Latin America 40.

pdf-icon PD F Download Full Article

Expanding the ESG Toolkit with the Dow Jones Select Green Real Estate Securities Indices

Contributor Image
Michael Orzano

Senior Director, Global Equity Indices

Contributor Image
Silvia Kitchener

Director, Global Equity Indices, Latin America

INTRODUCTION

More and more investors are integrating ESG considerations into their investment process.  Given the large size and specialized nature of real estate assets, the investment community has demanded sophisticated tools to more accurately identify real estate companies that own more or less sustainable properties and integrate this information seamlessly into their investment process.

S&P Dow Jones Indices has collaborated with GRESB, a leader in evaluating ESG characteristics of real estate companies, to create the Dow Jones Select ESG Real Estate Securities Indices (RESI).  The indices, which utilize data from GRESB, are designed to reflect the investment characteristics of conventional real estate benchmarks but with an improved sustainability profile, thereby providing a sustainable alternative to existing real estate offerings.

ABOUT THE INDEX SERIES

The Dow Jones Select ESG RESI are based on the Dow Jones Select RESI, a widely used listed real estate index series with approximately USD 34.5 billion of benchmarked assets.  They also utilize GRESB’s widely followed real estate assessment, which incorporates property-level data that measure such criteria as energy and water usage, carbon emissions, and leasable area covered by green building certifications, offering a deep, specialized sustainability analysis for real estate companies.  This is a key component of the overall ESG assessment each company undergoes.  The series currently includes the regional headline indices shown in Exhibit 1.

Methodology Overview

The indices consist of all companies included in the conventional Dow Jones Select RESI except for those deemed non-compliant with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) principles, companies exceeding certain thresholds of involvement in gambling, alcohol, tobacco, adult entertainment, fossil fuels, and controversial weapons, and those identified by S&P Global’s Media & Stakeholder Analysis as involved in an ESG controversy.  The impact of exclusions is typically relatively small, given that real estate companies tend to have limited involvement in these business activities.  Following the Sept. 30, 2021, rebalance, two companies were excluded from the Dow Jones Global Select ESG RESI, representing a weight of 0.80%.

pdf-icon PD F Download Full Article

Bringing Transparency to an Emerging Asset Class: S&P Cryptocurrency Indices

Contributor Image
Sharon Liebowitz

Senior Director, Innovation & Strategy

Contributor Image
Leonardo M. Cabrer

Director, Global Research & Design

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • S&P Dow Jones Indices has developed a series of cryptocurrency indices to measure this new emerging asset class.
  • The S&P Cryptocurrency Indices are designed to have broad coverage since cryptocurrencies are not homogenous, and the level of activity beyond Bitcoin and Ethereum reflects a dynamic and evolving ecosystem.
  • The goods and services provided by the projects (applications, protocols, and products created) in the ecosystem may add to the value of individual coins.
  • There is no global regulatory body for cryptocurrencies, nor is there consensus among regulators as to a response to these new innovations.
  • The S&P Cryptocurrency Indices have historically experienced high annualized returns accompanied by significant volatility and downside risk.
  • Indexing aims to bring accessibility and transparency to the digital assets market

INTRODUCTION

Because digital assets are an emerging asset class, it is helpful to discuss what cryptocurrencies (also referred to as "coins" in this document) are, how the asset class has grown, and how they are regulated. As cryptocurrencies are not identical in terms of what they offer, it is also important to understand how they can be used, along with some of the real and perceived challenges related to the asset class. This background helps to provide added context to the need for indexing to bring accessibility and transparency to this new market. The S&P Cryptocurrency Indices aim to meet these challenges. The indices are designed to serve as benchmarks for the performance of a selection of cryptocurrencies that are listed on recognized, open exchanges while meeting liquidity and market capitalization criteria.

pdf-icon PD F Download Full Article

RIATalks India: A Practical Look at Passive Investing

Contributor Image
Koel Ghosh

Head of South Asia

RIA Talks India is an interview series where industry thinkers share their thoughts and perspectives on a variety of market trends and themes impacting indexing and passive investing in India.

Koel Ghosh, Business Head & CEO, Asia Index Pvt. Ltd., S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI) chatted with Suresh Sadagopan, Founder, Ladder7 Financial Advisories to get his take on using passive investing as a tool for risk management.

Koel: As an index provider, S&P Dow Jones Indices would like to better understand how financial advisors use products based on indices. Please tell us about passive products like ETFs and index funds that can be used in an advisor toolkit in India.

Suresh: As a financial advisor, the choice to include various products in a portfolio is dependent upon the investor’s risk appetite, reward expectation, liquidity and tenure needs, taxation, etc. While choosing products, advisors will also have to contend with managed products and passive ones. There are merits on both sides, in some subcategories at least.

In the large-cap space, most funds are not able to beat index returns, after adjusting for fees. In mid- and small-cap spaces, active funds seem to be able to beat passive funds more frequently. Hence, having some ETFs or passive funds may be helpful in the large-cap category. Also, in the smart beta (or factor) investing space, many ETFs (and passive funds) have started sprouting up, and they could be good candidates to consider in certain portfolios.

Koel: What are some of the strategies you use, and what are the potential benefits of including passive products in a portfolio?

Suresh: It is our belief that capturing the wisdom of the markets will eventually shine over stock-picking skills. However, it may take some time to mature in India before we get to a stage similar to what the U.S. is experiencing now.

We use ETFs and passive funds that track broad indices. We also use smart beta funds as a satellite strategy in our overall passive investing strategy. However, what we do differs from client to client.

The benefits of passive investing can be manifold. Fund manager risk is mitigated, and typically lower-cost investing is facilitated. Passive vehicles may also have advantages for long-term investment in that the underlying index reconstitution infuses dynamism for a portfolio of stocks. It can help to create a manageable portfolio that encompasses nearly the entire market.

Koel: How do you position your ETF use to clients?

Suresh: We prefer index funds for their liquidity, ease of trade, lack of impact costs, and buyback. We educate our clients about why passive investing may be a good strategy and why we are choosing that for them. We also explain all the typical benefits of the passive products, including potentially the lower cost, mitigation of fund manager risk, automatic alignment periodically to a well-constructed index, etc.

pdf-icon PD F Download Full Article

Processing ...