UOB asset manager rolls out sustainable bond fund for retail investors

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – UOB Asset Management (UOBAM) on Friday (March 27) launched a sustainable bond fund in Singapore targeted at retail investors.

Known as the United Sustainable Credit Income Fund (USCIF), the fund is focused on bonds from companies that are making progress in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said UOBAM in a statement.

The initial minimum subscription sum is $1,000 or US$1,000. UOBAM said the multi-sector USCIF is the first of its kind available to retail investors in Singapore, and offers “stable income” through monthly dividend distributions.

Through the USCIF, retail investors will invest in the RobecoSAM SDG Credit Income Fund (the underlying fund), previously available only to institutional investors and high net worth individuals.

The underlying fund – managed by international asset manager Robeco – assesses investible companies’ contributions towards the SDGs by evaluating the sustainability impact of their products, operational processes and business practices.

UOBAM said the assessment also helps identify companies that are able to remain competitive and relevant in the transition to a more sustainable economy, thereby limiting investments in companies with a higher risk of default in future.

As the underlying fund is not assessed against a benchmark, it has the flexibility to select bonds, including green bonds, which are attractive in terms of yield and their SDG-related efforts. “In doing so, the underlying fund aims to maintain a high and consistent level of income,” said UOBAM.

Thio Boon Kiat, UOBAM group chief executive, said: “With more Singapore investors including environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations in their investment decisions, we are excited to partner Robeco to offer investors the opportunity to do good while also enjoying stable income amid current market volatility.”

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