Austrian financial group Raiffeisen KAG has announced plans to expand its sustainable investment range of bond funds.
The Raiffeisen Sustainability Rent fund will invest in a portfolio of global fixed income assets ranging from government bonds to currencies and corporate bonds. It is the first time that the company has launched a bond fund which invests in all fixed income bond classes.
In a statement announcing the launch, Raiffeisen explained that its selection criteria for assets in the portfolio will relate to its ‘Avoid, Support and Influence’ approach. Issuers marked ‘avoid’ will be excluded from inclusion because they fail to meet Raiffeisen’s ESG selection criteria.
Issuers deemed to have an opportunity to improve their sustainability score will be considered for inclusion under the ‘influence’ strategy, while issuers with strong ESG credentials will be supported.
As many state-owned issuers do not meet the sustainability criteria, the fund will instead opt for bonds issued by other high-credit institutions that meet the criteria.
“The Raiffeisen Sustainability Rent is aimed primarily at customers who want to diversify their portfolio,” a spokesman for the company said in a media statement.
“In addition, the investment offers the opportunity to achieve a sustainable impact on companies, as the fund management takes into account the environmental and social orientation of companies in the selection of securities.”
The company said that, from a risk-return perspective, the focus will be on emerging market bonds, inflation-linked bonds and euro-denominated investment grade corporate bonds, in line with current capital market trends.