FNB launches ESG-focused ETNs options

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FIRST NATIONAL Bank (FNB) has launched three exchange-traded notes (ETNs) with an environmental, social and governance (ESG) focus to augment the range of successful globally focused ETNs it launched late last year.

About 3 million people save or invest with FNB. Late last year, FNB launched a range of ETNs that offered local investors exposure to Amazon, Netflix, Apple and Microsoft.

Instead of offering exposure to single global brands, the three new ETNs provide investors with access to a basket of global organisations involved in the sustainable development fields of clean energy, water supply and security, and low carbon emissions, FNB Wealth and Investments and Ashburton chief executive Sizwe Nxedlana said in a statement yesterday.

The first ETN provides exposure to the iShares Global Water (UCITS) exchange-traded fund (ETF), which tracks the performance of an index of 50 of the largest global companies engaged in water-related activities and operations. The second ETN has a clean energy focus and provides investors with exposure to the iShares Global Clean Energy UCITS ETF, which tracks the return of the S&P Global Clean Energy Index.

The third new ETN tracks the performance of the UBS MSCI World Socially Responsible UCITS ETF, which invests in stocks in the MSCI World SRI Low Carbon Select 5 percent Issuer Capped Total Return Net Index.

Nxedlana said the three new ETNs have a value-adding ESG overlay and were structured in the same way as the existing suite of ETNs – they have the same low minimum investment of R10, and investors can choose to invest in dollars or rand.

FNB Wealth and Investments Solutions chief executive Bheki Mkhize said the very low financial barrier to entry of the ETNs, combined with their ease of access via any share-trading platform, including FNB’s cost-effective options, meant any South African could add a global investment component to their personal money management strategy and do so in a way that was also of benefit to the planet and its people.

He said the popularity of FNB’s existing ETNs was one of the main reasons the bank chose to add the three new ESG-focused options.

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