Singapore Exchange and UOB Asset Management (UOBAM) has jointly launched the iEdge UOB APAC Yield Focus Green REIT Index on Oct 15.

The index is developed by SGX as part of the SGX iEdge product suite, done in collaboration with UOBAM.

The index tracks 50 of the higher-yielding listed REITs across the Asia Pacific region. These REITs are said to have positive environmental attributes based on the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark’s (GRESB) real estate assessment while meeting liquidity requirements.

GRESB is the global leader for ESG research of real assets, covering over 1,500 property companies, REITs, funds and developers with around US$5.7 trillion ($7.69 trillion) in assets under management (AUM).

“Sustainable investing is now a key consideration in portfolio allocation, and this is driving demand and innovation in partnership with iEdge’s indexing services. Since the establishment of iEdge, we have been customising and developing proprietary indices for our global clients, in a well-governed manner through purpose-driven design,strong research and data partnerships,” says Ng Kin Yee, managing director and head of data, connectivity and indices at SGX.

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“This new index in partnership with UOBAM and GRESB is uniquely underpinned by Singapore’s position as the most international REIT hub globally, and we look forward to this index becoming investible for market participants who are increasingly environmentally focused,” he added.

Thio Boon Kiat, CEO at UOBAM says, the index “seeks to respond to market demand for ESG-focused investment products”. It is also aligned with UOBAM’s aim of driving sustainability.

“While investors are keen to put their money in quality companies that are sustainable and score highly on ESG metrics, data on the companies' ESG performance can be difficult to discern. UOBAM brings more than three decades of investment expertise in Asia to incorporate ESG factors and considerations into REITS investments and this rigorously constructed index will help investors to invest for both profit and purpose,” he adds.

Sebastien Roussotte, CEO of GRESB, says, “Transitioning to a sustainable world is a fundamental challenge that we must face together. GRESB is pleased to partner with SGX and UOBAM to support the growth in sustainable real estate across the Asia-Pacific region and provide global investors with the critical data needed to align their investment allocations with ESG integration practices.”

As at 1.02pm, shares in SGX and UOB are trading at $9.63 and $26.77 respectively.

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