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BetaShares Global Sustainability Leaders ETF

Fund Manager: Betashares
Inception Date: Jan 09, 2017

Facebook scandal raises ESG concerns

Financial Standard - Apr 03, 2018

It's the data breach that led Edward Snowden to describe Facebook as a surveillance company rebranded as a social media one - and it's now having serious implications on ethical investment strategies. Summarised, Facebook is currently embroiled in multiple lawsuits as a result of having exposed raw data on 50 million users to political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. This firm worked, by proxy, on Donald Trump's presidential campaign and obtained user information with the help of University of Cambridge researcher Aleksandr Kogan, who created a Facebook quiz app that harvested data from quiz takers. [More]

One of the emerging themes in investing is the desire for many investors to invest in line with their own ethical beliefs. Last year we saw Betashares successfully launch their International and Australian focused ethical / sustainable ETFs. VanEck is the latest fund manager to join the party, recently launching the VanEck Vectors MSCI International Sustainable Equity ETF (ESGI). Today we take a look at the fund and how it differs to the other ethical ETFs available. What’s ESGI’s ... [More]

BetaShares deletes Facebook from ethical ETF

Investor Daily - Mar 27, 2018

BetaShares has removed Facebook from the index tracked by its global sustainability leaders exchange-traded fund.   BetaShares has announced its Responsible Investment Committee (RIC) had decided to remove the global tech giant from the BetaShares Global Sustainability Leaders ETF as well as the index it tracks. Facebook represents 3.9 per cent of the ETF portfolio, which is the biggest global ethical ETF that trades on the ASX with $170 million funds under management.   Facebook had originally qualified to be included on the index for its “strong global leadership on carbon emission metrics”, according to the statement. [More]

Blackrock, as we've copiously demonstrated, is nowhere near as keen to use its voting clout to assure ethical behaviour as its marketing suggests. But Australian ETF provider Betashares could show even active managers a thing or two, taking just a week to drop one of the biggest holdings in its Global Sustainability Leaders ASX-listed exchange traded fund. Betashares told journalists (but curiously not the ASX) on Friday that it would remove Facebook from the fund, which is the largest global ethical ETF traded on the ASX. Betashares, founded by Alex Vynokur, said Facebook, 3.9 per cent of the fund, had been included based on its carbon emission metrics, which are better than industry peers. But the fund's Responsible Investment Committee was concerned about the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, which along with "other previously identified issues" "caused the RIC to determine that Facebook is no longer eligible for inclusion in the index".  [More]

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) will be removed from the Australia-based BetaShares Global Sustainability Leaders Exchange Traded Fund (ETHI) due to recent “controversies”, its Responsible Investment Committee (RIC) said on Friday. The world’s largest social media network, with more than 2 billion monthly active users, is under scrutiny following allegations that British political consultancy Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed users’ data and helped influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg apologised on Wednesday, five days after the scandal broke, and promised to restrict developers’ access to such information.The company, which has lost more than $50 billion in market value since allegations this week, ended over 2.6 percent lower on Thursday.Facebook comprises 3.9 percent of the ETHI portfolio, the Australian ethical fund that has $170 million in funds under management. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)‘s stock on Thursday traded at beginning with a price of $166.29 and when day-trade ended the stock finally moved down -2.66% to reach at $164.89. Analyst’s mean target price for FB is $222.81 while analysts mean recommendation is 1.80. Stock value has moved between $137.41 – 196.3 in last one year. [More]

When we first wrote about ethical ETFs, the options available to investors were fairly limited, with a range of ETFs that had screeners excluding tobacco and weapons manufacturers the only options available. Perfect if weapons and big tobacco are where your ethical boundaries lie, but not much good for those wanting to invest ethically in Australian markets, where no weapons or tobacco producers even exist within the broader S&P ASX 200 index. Betashares changed the game early last year with ... [More]

Ethical investing comes of age

AFR - May 20, 2017

Green is the new black in investing as billions of dollars pour into ethical funds and a rush of financial products with environment and social themes targets mainstream investors. Ethical fund assets grew 62 per cent in 2015 to $52 billion, shows the latest Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) Benchmark Report. The sector has doubled in two years as responsible investing redefines the investment landscape. "There's been a massive awakening in ethical investing," says RIAA CEO Simon O'Connor. "Investors have realised they can invest in a way that helps rather than harms the planet, without sacrificing returns. We are rapidly heading towards a 'tipping point'."   [More]

One of the biggest investment themes in the US in recent times has been “impact investing”. In Australia it is clear investors are also looking to ‘‘do some good with money’’. But one of the first issues encountered in this area is scepticism: what does impact investing mean exactly? Put simply, impact investing is an investment approach that intentionally seeks to create both financial return and positive social or environmental impact that is actively measured. For advisers working with Australian clients, opportunities in this area might include the ability to co-invest with the Australian Clean Energy Finance Corporation or the opportunity to invest in a Social Impact Bond. [More]

The most recent ETF to be launched and the first of 2017 is a new globally focused fund offered by Betashares, the Global Sustainability Leaders ETF (ETHI) has a focus on companies which are ‘climate change leaders’ and are not ‘engaged in activities deemed inconsistent with responsible investment considerations’. In other words it is has an ethical and environmental sustainability focus. We had a look at Ethical ETFs a few months back. Until now there were 7 ETFs ... [More]

There's a small but growing number of "ethical" exchange traded funds (ETFs) listed on the Australian sharemarket that invest in a basket of shares that replicate an ethical index. They go by a variety of names – ethical, responsible investment and sustainable leaders. [More]

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