Global environmental, social and governance (ESG) fund assets grew 19% quarter-on-quarter to US$1.98 trillion in the first three months of 2021 on the back of record inflows for the fourth straight period and new fund launches, according to Morningstar.
The highest inflow was in Europe, at $146.7 billion, followed by the US with $21.5 billion. Japan drew $4.1 billion and Asia, excluding China and Japan, $2.3 billion.
“Europe accounts for 83% of global assets, followed by the US with 12%. The past three years have seen a steady increase in assets in sustainable funds globally,” Morningstar says in a report on March 4.
“Global sustainable flows reach all-time highs for the fourth quarter in a row,” William Chow, Morningstar’s director of manager research, says in a statement separately, noting that in Asia, inflows in South Korea almost doubled from the previous quarter.
ESG fund inflow in South Korea was the highest in Asia ex-Japan and China, at $1.78 billion.
“New product launches are also growing steadily, with 22 new funds across the region last quarter, also led by South Korea,” Chow says.
Taiwan and Singapore ESG funds drew inflows of $296.34 million and $201.75 million, respectively.