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Thailand’s GPF head says investors don’t doubt ESG now but the ratings can be “confusing”

Institutional investors no longer doubt the risk and return of ESG, GPF says
By Goh Thean Eu   
November 29, 2022

Thailand’s Government Provident Fund (GPF) Secretary-General Srikanya Yathip says institutional investors have moved away from doubting sustainable investing to asking how to integrate environmental, social and governance into their investment process.

The issue now is that ESG ratings can be confusing, she said in her keynote address at Asia Asset Management's 13th Annual Roundtable in Bangkok on November 24.

“Institutional investors no longer doubt the risk and return of ESG. It is no longer an issue to discuss whether institutional investors should integrate ESG into the investment process,” she said. “The discussion has moved away from ‘Why (ESG)?’ to ‘How (to integrate ESG)?’.”

Noting that ESG ratings can be "ambiguous and confusing", she said the GPF is "in the process of trying to find the best rating to understand our portfolio".

The roundtable was attended by over 100 participants, including from pension and social security funds, asset managers and regulators. It was sponsored by Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings and Thailand’s DAOL Securities.

The GPF, a pension fund for civil servants, had 463 billion baht (US$12.84 billion) of assets under management as of end-2021.