Singapore Exchange (SGX) and UOB Asset Management (UOBAM) today jointly launched the iEdge-UOB APAC Yield Focus Green REIT Index that tracks Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) listed across the Asia-Pacific region with higher dividend yields and positive environmental attributes.
Developed by SGX as part of the SGX iEdge product suite, in collaboration with UOBAM, the index covers 50 higher-yielding REITs that display relatively better environmental performance based on GRESB's real estate assessment, while also meeting liquidity requirements.
GRESB is the global leader for ESG research of real assets, covering over 1,500 property companies, REITS, funds and developers with US$5.7 trillion in assets under management. For this index, the underlying REITs are weighted by their relative environmental performance using GRESB data for indicators such as energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and green building certifications, in addition to their ESG performance.
Ng Kin Yee, Managing Director and Head of Data, Connectivity and Indices, SGX, said, "Sustainable investing is now a key consideration in portfolio allocation, and this is driving demand and innovation in partnership with iEdge's indexing services. Since the establishment of iEdge, we have been customising and developing proprietary indices for our global clients, in a well-governed manner through purpose-driven design, strong research and data partnerships."
"This new index in partnership with UOBAM and GRESB is uniquely underpinned by Singapore's position as the most international REIT hub globally, and we look forward to this index becoming investible for market participants who are increasingly environmentally focused," he added.
Thio Boon Kiat, Chief Executive Officer, UOBAM, said, "The APAC Green REIT Index seeks to respond to market demand for ESG-focused investment products and aligns with UOB Asset Management's aim of driving sustainability by putting environment, social and governance (ESG) impact at the heart of our business. While investors are keen to put their money in quality companies that are sustainable and score highly on ESG metrics, data on the companies' ESG performance can be difficult to discern. UOBAM brings more than three decades of investment expertise in Asia to incorporate ESG factors and considerations into REITS investments and this rigorously constructed index will help investors to invest for both profit and purpose."
Sebastien Roussotte, CEO of GRESB, said, "Transitioning to a sustainable world is a fundamental challenge that we must face together. GRESB is pleased to partner with SGX and UOBAM to support the growth in sustainable real estate across the Asia-Pacific region and provide global investors with the critical data needed to align their investment allocations with ESG integration practices."
For more details on the index, please visit: https://www.sgx.com/indices/products/agreitsn