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Funds, REITs added to annual ESG100 listing

Property funds, REITs and infrastructure funds have entered the Thaipat’s ESG100 list for the first time this year.

Launched in 2015, the annual list has named 100 securities considered outstanding in terms of environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance, while also considering their rate of returns. 
But never before had the Thaipat Institute, which compiles the list, considered property funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and infrastructure funds until this year. 
The ESG100: 2019 list is the fifth to be prepared by the Institute’s ESG rating unit, and assessed 771 securities (excluding those that are undergoing business rehabilitation) including property funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and infrastructure funds.
“This year, we have also assessed property funds, REITs, and infrastructure funds for the first time in the rating so as to present investment alternatives that have low volatility but offer returns that are no less than the market rate,” Thaipat Institute’s chairman Dr Pipat Yodprudtikan said.
Joining the ESG100 this year are CPN Commercial Growth Leasehold Property Fund (CPNCG), Prime Office Leasehold Property Fund (POPF), Bualuang Office Leasehold Real Estate Investment Trust (B-WORK), Frasers Property Thailand Industrial Freehold and Leasehold REIT (FTREIT), Golden Ventures Leasehold Real Estate Investment Trust (GVREIT), LH Shopping Centres Leasehold Real Estate Investment Trust (LHSC), WHA Premium Growth Freehold and Leasehold Real Estate Investment Trust (WHART), North Bangkok Power Plant Block 1 Infrastructure Fund, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGATIF), and Jasmine Broadband Internet Infrastructure Fund (JASIF).

Asian firms lead world in pursuing tech, sustainability

Businesses across Asia increasingly believe the strongest opportunities for future growth lie in technology, sustainability and developing talent to harness digital advancement, according to a new global survey by HSBC .
While more than a third of Asian businesses are prioritising expansion into new markets, even more are turning their attention to improving productivity and new technologies, the survey found.
These are key findings from “Navigator: Made for the Future”, a survey of more than 2,500 companies in 14 markets globally – including over 1,300 firms in Asia.
Forty-three per cent of companies in Asia are citing innovation as fundamental to future success, compared to 42 per cent in Europe and 29 per cent in North America.
The majority of markets in Asia cited innovation as their top investment priority, focusing on people and platforms, both largely in line with global findings.
Stuart Tait of HSBC believes Asian businesses are more buoyant about their future prospects than the rest of the world given the economic vibrancy of the region. 
“With rising urbanisation, a growing middle class and upbeat intra-Asia investment and trade activity, businesses are seeing more opportunities than threats on the horizon,” said Tait.
He also believes companies in Asia are staying agile in response to their fast-evolving customer base.
“Asian businesses are attuned to disruption, and recognise that productivity and new technologies are critical to prosperity and longevity.”
According to the research, 44 per cent of Asian businesses expect to grow by three to five per cent over the next two years, making them more bullish than their European and North American peers. 
To help drive this growth, companies in Asia are honing in on environmentally and socially responsible opportunities.
According to Tait, the strategy for Asian businesses is not hinged on growing at all costs. “To be ‘Made for the Future’, businesses are doubling down on sustainability, with half of companies planning to increase their sustainability investments.”
The findings also reveal contrasts among Asian businesses’ appetite for sustainability compared to companies in Europe (39 per cent) and North America (45 per cent).
Of the Asian markets surveyed, businesses in India (59 per cent), Indonesia (57) and mainland China (60) are leading the pack.

AirAsia picks Workday for digital journey
Workday, a leader in enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, has announced that the world’s best low-cost airline, AirAsia, has selected Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) as part of its digital transformation journey.

Funds, REITs added to annual ESG100 listing
As part of this journey, AirAsia has rolled out Workday’s cloud technology for HCM to its 22,000+ Allstars (employees) globally.
Workday HCM enables customers to uncover workforce insights for quicker and more informed decisions in optimising human resources and talent management operations. The technology will be implemented to manage AirAsia’s employee data including career information, technical skills and training and other employee records. Additionally, AirAsia employees will have self-service capabilities allowing them to build their own career paths.
Varun Bhatia, Chief People and Culture Officer, AirAsia said: “AirAsia’s digital transformation encompasses our people and culture as much as it does our business model. In doing so, we have looked closely at each stage of our Allstars’ career to see how best to leverage technology and use data.
“Workday met our criteria for an enterprise-level, integrated and cloud-based mobile HCM platform with strong reporting and analytics. We also appreciate Workday’s active and responsive partnership, along with strong customer support.”
Workday’s appointment as AirAsia’s HCM partner follows a global growth strategy to build a stronger presence in Asia, bringing human capital management, financial management and analytical capabilities to new markets.

Published : June 26, 2019