by ASILA JALIL / pic credit: bimbinvestment.com.my
BIMB Investment Management Bhd aims to achieve assets under management (AUMs) worth RM2.5 billion by year-end from its current total fund of RM1.7 billion.
Its CEO Najmuddin Mohd Lutfi said about 65% of BIMB Investment’s current AUMs are made up of equity and it is managing the largest environment, social and governance (ESG) assets which are near a billion.
BIMB Investment, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, earlier launched the BIMB-Arabesque Global Shariah Sustainable Equity Fund (BGSEF) which is expected to contribute RM100 million into the firm’s AUMs in the next 24 months.
“The new fund is also an ESG asset and hopefully, it will contribute additional equity growth for us. We hope we can achieve 70% of our AUMs to be equities in the next 24 months,” he told reporters after the virtual launch of the new fund.
The BGSEF is a global Shariah-ESG equity feeder fund that seeks to achieve capital appreciation over a medium- to long-term period for investors.
BIMB Investment chairman Mohamed Ridza Mohamed Abdulla said the target fund, Arabesque Q3.17 SICAV-Q3.17 Sustainable Global Equity, aims to offer investors globally diversified exposure in up to 100 Shariah-ESG stocks at all times.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic has shown how a sustainability crisis can impact economies, businesses and the society, while proving that companies with strong ESG credentials have performed better amid the pandemic.
“Investors are likely to continue sizing-up companies with the best ESG credentials, as evidence points to them having proven resilience during the pandemic.
“When people talk about sustainable investment, there are so many aspects to it, but I think what is important irrespective of Covid-19 is, people now realise it is not just about making profits but also investing with a clear conscience with whatever stock portfolio that you have,” he said.
The BGSEF utilises Arabesque S-Ray, a tool that provides data solutions across global capital markets to assess companies’ sustainability performance.
It is offered in five currency classes namely Malaysian ringgit class, Malaysian ringgit-hedged class, US dollar class, Australian dollar class and Singapore dollar class.
The fund is now available for subscription to investors with an initial investment amount of RM500, RM500 hedged, US$500 (RM2,500), A$500 (RM1,590) or S$500 (RM1,531).
Najmuddin said the fund differs in comparison with other funds in terms of the artificial intelligence used, which he described as “crucial” as it is based on data and is constructed via a bottom-up approach.
He said the assessment made on the stocks includes looking at both financial and non-financial aspects of a company that encompass ESG elements.
“In 2020, specifically, we saw a lot of ESG funds being launched. ESG has become mainstream due to the Covid-19 crisis that has caused more investors to be keen on investing towards ESG.
“Covid-19 has taught many people that investing sustainably as well as responsibly is important to ensure that we protect the planet more effectively moving forward,” he added.