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South Korea's KIC releases first sustainable investing report

ESG investing
By Asia Asset Management  
June 29, 2020

South Korea’s sovereign wealth fund, Korea Investment Corporation (KIC), has published its first sustainable investing report, outlining its environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment practices in the fund’s latest move to shore up its long-term sustainability plan.

KIC invested US$360 million in the Korean government’s first green bond last year and established internal stewardship principles in 2018.

KIC is “working hard to adopt responsible investments” and “actively promoting ESG integration into all asset classes and investment processes”, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Heenam Choi says in the report released last week.

This January, KIC introduced a process to assess its external managers on responsible investing.

The report says the fund has thus far assessed three managers for its traditional asset mandates, including bonds and stocks, and ten managers for alternative or non-mainstream investment mandates.

The managers are required to complete ESG questionnaires when investing in alternative assets such as private equity, real estate, infrastructure and hedge funds.

“We encourage our alternative asset external managers to actively consider policies and processes related to responsible investment. KIC will also better identify the best practice of global external managers and strengthen our capabilities,” the report says.

KIC had $157.3 billion of total assets under management at the end of 2019.