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Activities for increasing awareness of ESG investment

Recent years have seen the rapid expansion of an investment method among institutional investors that evaluates and emphasizes enterprises' ongoing initiatives to address ESG issues. To generate long-term returns is expected based on the thinking that management strategies reflecting the impact of initiatives to address ESG issues are important for the sustainable growth of an enterprise.
In response to this trend, the SBI Group is moving ahead with activities for increasing awareness of ESG investment in a group-wide manner, including the formation of funds focused on ESG issues including the environment and the granting of awards for outstanding ESG-related funds.
The move to reflect ESG and sustainability approaches in investments and stock selection is also gradually increasing among individual investors, albeit still not sufficiently. The SBI Group will continue its initiatives to increase the momentum of this trend among individual investors. At the same time, the Group aims to build an environment where enterprises valuing ESG will be weighed heavily as investment destinations, which will help enterprises proactively engage in ESG initiatives.

Example initiative (1): Awards for outstanding ESG-related funds

Morningstar Japan, which provides financial information services for investors, has established an ESG-type category in its "Fund of the Year" awards to recognize funds with outstanding investment performance and management. In 2021, 203 related funds were nominated based on the company's own evaluation criteria, and four funds were awarded, that outperformed general funds by investing in stocks carefully selected based on each fund's unique theme and research. The total net asset balance of funds in this category as of the end of December 2021 was ¥3,880.4 billion, an increase of ¥2094.1 billion over the past year, indicating that ESG-related funds have been attracting more attention in recent years.

Example initiative (2): Formation and management of ESG-related funds

In May 2019, SBI Asset Management, which is engaged in asset management operations, began to manage "The SBI Global ESG Balanced Fund" (nicknamed "Green Impact"), which, among the ESG issues, focuses particularly on the environment. This fund invests in stocks, bonds, etc. in various countries of the world using ESG investment and impact investment methods.
Further, the Group began to manage two ESG-related funds in November 2021. One, the "SBI Paris Agreement Net Zero Index Fund," attempts to establish a connection with a stock index comprising enterprises intending to act to achieve greenhouse gas reduction targets under the Paris Agreement. With the other, the "SBI Gender Free Index Fund," the Group endeavors to establish a connection with a stock index comprising enterprises all over the world with initiatives for the removal of gender barriers. Through these and other measures, the SBI Group will push forward initiatives to provide individual investors with ESG investment opportunities and thereby help realize a sustainable society.