Almost 7 of 10 HNW investors in Asia want to help create a better future with sustainable investing

PC Lee

SINGAPORE (June 25): Monetary returns are gradually taking a backseat to more altruistic goals as the motivation of investors in Asia evolves.

This according to the 2019 Asia Sustainable Investing Review survey conducted by Standard Chartered Private Bank.

Among the highlights, the survey found that 68% of high-net-worth (HNW) investors in Asia now want to help create a better future through sustainable investing.

These HNW investors are also planning to increase the allocation in sustainable investments to almost 20% of their portfolio.

This year’s survey by StanChart continued to track the behaviour of three sustainable investor archetypes – Altruists, Value Seekers and Unengaged – in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and India.

While Value Seekers remained the dominant sustainable investor type at 66%, there is a trend of growing social conscience across the three archetypes as 81% of Altruists and 63% of Value Seekers chose “Create a better future” as their top motivation.

In addition, Altruistic investors were most motivated by energy and climate issues (22%), while Value Seekers were most motivated by health and education goals (12%).

Within the Altruists and Value Seekers, StanChart also uncovered a new sub-category of Aspirants – investors who claimed to be engaged in sustainable investing, but have not yet started.

Investors’ knowledge about sustainable investing also continued to improve. Almost 30% of investors could correctly define what it was, up from 20% a year ago.

Similar to last year, Singapore continued to have the highest number of HNW investors in Asia who were knowledgeable, at 43%. Investors in China and Hong Kong investors who understood the concept also rose to 18% and 27%, respectively from a year ago.

Some 41% of the Unengaged and 40% of the Aspirants cited “Lack of information about sustainable investing opportunities” for not engaging in sustainable investing.

Overall, 46% of investors felt that a “Demonstrated track record of positive financial returns” would help increase their engagement with sustainable investing.