Thailand’s 956.5 billion baht ($31.7 billion) Government Pension Fund will introduce its own environmental, societal and governance scoring tool for local stocks and bonds by Dec. 31, and begin screening all fund investments using that “ESG lens” in the new year, a senior GPF executive said.
Vitai Ratanakorn, GPF’s secretary-general, speaking Wednesday at the GPF-Bloomberg Sustainable Investing Forum in Bangkok, said with the change, GPF “will not invest in a company if we have material concerns on its ESG track record.”
The scoring tool remains a work in progress, and it’s too early to provide details on how the process will operate, a spokeswoman for the fund said in an email.
At the conference, Seree Nonthasoot, a GPF board member and governor of the Stock Exchange of Thailand, said a 1-billion-baht ESG-focused domestic stock portfolio the pension fund launched 10 months ago has delivered promising early results. The portfolio was up 4.6%, 50 basis points better than GPF’s main equity fund.
A news release showed 89% of the more than 140 investors, asset owners and asset managers attending the conference believe ESG-integrated portfolios should outperform portfolios that don’t take ESG considerations into account.