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28 FEBRUARY, 2023
ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investing is increasingly getting more popular in the world today. Investors, especially foreign funds, take a hard look at companies for their ESG records before deciding to invest in them. ESG companies are generally perceived to be more ‘ethical’ than their peers.
ESG investing is a growing class of investing that helps investors determine the company’s future performance based on its interactions with stakeholders and society. ESG is also referred to as sustainable investing. It looks at how companies handle non-financial performance indicators such as ethics and corporate governance.
In today’s age of increasing accountability, a hit to a company’s reputation can send its stock price into a downward spiral. Companies that incorporate ESG values into their functioning can reduce volatility and consequently reduce business risk. They are able to mitigate external shocks and create a very strong brand.
For an investor, this translates into:
Sometimes, individual investors don’t want to focus on the non-financial parameters of investing. If you are one of them, consider this. There are quite a few foreign funds, including pension funds and sovereign funds, who have invested over Rs. 1 lakh crore into Indian companies. All of them are moving their portfolio only into companies that are ESG-compliant. So you see, ESG investing has a massive financial impact on your investments too.
It is quite challenging for an individual investors to identify and monitor companies on their ESG compliance levels. It is easier to invest into ESG companies via Mutual Funds.
ESG companies care about how they make money instead of how much they make. They have a strong relationship with the community and endeavour to build better relations with all stakeholders. For instance, during the pandemic-induced lockdown, FMCG companies who follow ESG practices in India provided hospitals with health and hygiene products and helped create isolation facilities. Others provided local grocery stores with masks and sanitizers. Automobile companies manufactured ventilators and other protective equipment. Hotels offered free stay for medical care.
ESG investing is important because it means investors are putting money into companies who are reducing risk in the long-term. These companies look at the long-term sustainability of a business and the returns are likely to compound. In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that large investors are looking at ESG companies, and that India will grow with an equal focus on ESG.
Of course they do. Take a look at the table below:
NIFTY 100 Enhanced ESG
Source: MFI Explorer | Data as on 28 Feb, 2023
Historical data shows that Nifty 100 ESG has outperformed Nifty 50 benchmark.
You should ask three critical questions to your financial advisor on the ESG theme:
Kotak currently recommends the following ESG funds:
Since ESG investing is a relatively recent phenomenon in India, you should look at investing not more than 15% of your Equity portfolio into ESG funds.
Click here to invest now.
Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.
Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited, AMFI Registered Mutual Fund Distributor. AMFI Registration Number (ARN) 1390.
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