ABN Amro has launched the first socially responsible investing fund in India, the Amro Sustainable Development Fund, which will invest 65% of its assets in companies that disclose their policies on environmental, social and corporate governance, the Asia Times reports.
Credit rating agency Crisil will rate companies from two of India’s stock indexes, the Standard & Poor’s CNX 500 Index and the National Stock Exchange, from which the fund will select stocks.
“We believe that the availability of such products will significantly increase flows into emerging markets, but it is too early to predict how large they will be,” said Subir Gokarn¸ executive director and chief economist for Crisil.
Referring to a newly created index of ethically oriented Indian firms that the World Bank commissioned last year, Robin Sandenburgh, principal environmental specialist with its private sector arm, said: “Specifically, the index will evaluate the transparency, disclosure and management systems of companies. The initial universe for the index will be the 1,000 largest companies listed on the Indian stock exchanges. The index should be ready [at the] beginning of 2008.”
ABN Amro runs 24 socially responsible investing funds in Europe, Asia and Latin America.