Aberdeen Standard in $500m AIIB Asia fund win

Edinburgh-based investment giant Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) said on Friday it has forged a strategic partnership with Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

The partnership aims to develop debt capital markets for infrastructure, drive responsible investing in fixed income “and build a sustainable environmental, social and governance (ESG) ecosystem in emerging markets in Asia.”

The partnership will entail the $500 million AIIB Asia ESG Enhanced Credit Managed Portfolio managed by Aberdeen Standard on behalf of AIIB.

The portfolio will comprise primarily Asian infrastructure related bonds including both green and unlabelled issuances, with ESG factors fully integrated in the investment process and portfolio management.

Aberdeen Standard said it will also work closely with AIIB on the launch of a Sustainable Capital Markets Initiative “which aims to catalyse ESG investing strategies, act as an engine of change to improve ESG standards and build capacity around responsible investing with various market participants including corporate bond issuers, rating agencies and index providers to improve disclosure and expand ESG rating coverage in Emerging Asia.”

The portfolio will be managed by Aberdeen Standard’s Asian fixed income team based in Singapore.

Aberdeen Standard manages about $677 billion of assets worldwide.

AIIB chief investment officer D.J. Pandian said: “We believe that institutional investors are a key part of the solution to finance Asia’s infrastructure investment needs over the coming decades.

“Integrating ESG standards into capital markets in Emerging Asia will be important to achieving long-term sustainable development goals.

“We look forward to partnering with Aberdeen Standard Investments to achieve our shared vision of sustainable capital markets in Asia.”

Standard Life Aberdeen chairman Douglas Flint said: “We are truly honoured to be entrusted by AIIB with this important partnership.

“Having been investing in Asia for three decades, Aberdeen Standard Investments shares AIIB’s commitment to deepening the region’s capital markets and building a sustainable ESG ecosystem for investing.

“ESG investing has always been part of our DNA.

“The significant need for more infrastructure investment in Asia offers a real opportunity to embed ESG principles, while countries and communities accrue the long-term social and economic value that comes from the asset class.”