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New BlackRock ETF provides greater choice for ESG investing in emerging market debt

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BlackRock has launched a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) aimed at bond investors looking to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors within their investments, with Dutch insurance company a.s.r. as the seed investor of the fund.

A number of different forces, spanning country-level regulation, greater awareness, better data and an evolving demographic of the investor base, is popularising the integration of ESG insights into traditional investment approaches.
 
The new iShares JP Morgan ESG $ EM Bond UCITS ETF (EMES) will track the JP Morgan ESG  EMBI Global Diversified Index, one of the JESG EMD suite of indices launched by JP Morgan in collaboration with BlackRock in April 2018. It has a total expense ratio of 0.45 per cent.
 
The fund builds on a growing suite of BlackRock products providing options for investors who want to allocate their capital to more ESG-friendly issuers. This fund complements a group of four actively-managed UCITS ESG EMD funds that were launched in August this year. BlackRock’s iShares’ global sustainable ETF range already includes 27 iShares funds.
 
Benoit Sorel, Head of iShares EMEA Product, says: “The improvement in the quality and coverage of ESG data in emerging markets has enabled investors to identify companies with better ESG performance. With this fund, we are providing investors the ability to integrate sustainability considerations in emerging market bond portfolios.”

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