UBS Expands Socially Responsible ETF Range

October 02, 2012

UBS global asset management (UBS GAM) has listed three exchange-traded funds on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), two of which are ‘socially responsible’ ETFs and track indices which allow investors to invest in sustainably managed companies around the globe.

The listings are the latest from Swiss asset manager and come as demand for access to invest in socially responsible companies increases.

The two ETFs are based on the MSCI World Socially Responsible index and the MSCI North America Socially Responsible index.

Clemens Reuter, head of UBS ETFs, told "The socially responsible ETFs complement our two existing ETFs, which were launched in June and have seen strong interest. We increasingly see demand for access to socially responsible businesses and an ETF on the indices is an easy and efficient way for investors to get this access. The indices are designed with special selection criteria to invest specifically in socially responsible businesses."

The two physically replicated ETFs, which were launched on Friday, come in the wake of success from two previously listed socially responsible ETFs on the MSCI Europe & Middle East Socially Responsible index and the MSCI Pacific Socially Responsible index, which were launched in June this year.

Reuter said: "Since 2008 investments in sustainable businesses have more than doubled to €8 trillion globally. A research study from Eurosif has also reflected this rising demand, with 56% of the 169 European pension funds questioned saying they  have  invested  in socially responsible businesses. We have seen an emerging trend for this type of investment and have used ETFs to give investors access to it."

The third ETF is based on the MSCI Brazil index, which lets investors tap the leading large and medium-sized companies from Brazil. The underlying index covers 78 large and mid-cap companies traded on the Brazilian stock market.

Reuter told "There is a massive growth story in Brazil and the International Monetary Fund has recently revised Brazil's growth up from 2.5 per cent this year to 4.6 per cent in 2013. The Olympic games being held there in 2016 and the World Championship Football in 2014 have helped boost the economy. It makes sense to give investors easy access to this story with an ETF."

The ETFs have a base currency of US dollars and are available in two share classes: an "A" share class, designed for private clients, and an "I" share class for institutional investors and high net worth individuals. The trading currency of the A share classes will be in pounds sterling, while the I share classes will trade in US dollars on the LSE.

For the Socially Responsible ETFs the selected market makers are Commerzbank AG and UBS AG, while for the UBS-ETF MSCI Brazil it is Commerzbank AG.


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