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China’s CIC puts greater emphasis on ESG

By Hui Ching-hoo   
January 12, 2022

China Investment Corporation (CIC) is adopting a multipronged approach to environmental, social and governance investing, such as introducing climate-related strategies in private markets and more ESG equity mandates, in order to promote sustainable growth, according to Ju Weimin, vice chairman of the US$1.2 trillion sovereign wealth fund.

CIC has “placed itself as a responsible investor” since it was established in 2007 to oversee China’s foreign exchange reserves, and has been “proactively contributing to sustainable growth worldwide”, Ju, who is also president and chief investment officer of the state-owned investor, said during the 15th Asian Financial Forum organised by the Hong Kong government on January 10.

Three months ago, CIC introduced a sustainable investment framework that lays out the guiding principles for its investment process, including integration of ESG factors.

“The ESG framework shows our determination to promote sustainable development,” Ju said. “The fund is actively optimising its asset allocation while posting financial returns.”

According to Ju, CIC will further facilitate ESG investments in three ways. This includes introducing more ESG equity mandates and continuing to invest in ESG indexes; developing climate-focused investment strategies in the private market; and continuing to integrate ESG factors with its investment processes, including due diligence and contracting.

“We will promote sustainable investing in China, leverage our strength as a sovereign wealth fund, as well as work with our partners to support the transition to a sustainable global economy,” he said.