BNP Paribas Asset Management announces that it has obtained authorization from the Central Bank of Ireland for BNP Paribas Easy ICAV and has launched its first sub-fund, BNP Paribas Easy S&P 500 ESG UCITS ETF.
The fund, which is the asset manager’s first Irish ETF, is classified as Article 8 under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation and will be listed on Euronext Dublin, Euronext Paris, and Deutsche Börse Xetra from June 27. It will also be listed on Borsa Italiana, SIX Swiss Exchange, and London Stock Exchange at later dates.
The BNP Paribas Easy S&P 500 ESG UCITS ETF aims to replicate the performance of the S&P 500 ESG Index, a market capitalization-weighted US index that measures the performance of companies with a best-in-class ESG approach within each sector. The index applies certain exclusions and restrictions, including companies that do not comply with the United Nations Global Compact, those considered controversial by the S&P Index Committee, and those without an S&P DJI ESG score.
What is the S&P 500 ESG Index
Launched in 2019, the S&P 500 ESG Index undergoes an annual rebalance on the last business day of April and includes approximately 300 of the 500 components of the main S&P 500 Index.
Currently, the most overweight sectors compared to the main index are technology and consumer discretionary, while the most underweight sectors are energy, utilities, and industrials. The S&P 500 ESG Index has outperformed the S&P 500 over the past five years with a similar level of volatility, demonstrating improved ESG scores and carbon efficiency.
US equity ETFs have gained significant popularity among European investors who prefer exposure to indices as active managers historically struggle to outperform the US market. The value of equity ETFs in Europe exceeds $1 trillion, with US equity ETFs representing 33%, ahead of global equity ETFs (27%) and European equity ETFs (25%).
The BNP Paribas Easy S&P 500 ESG UCITS ETF is the first ETF from BNP Paribas Asset Management that tracks the S&P ESG Index and will be managed in accordance with the manager’s Voting and Corporate Governance Policy, exercising voting rights in all underlying positions. BNP Paribas Asset Management is a pioneer in sustainable thematic ETFs. In 2008, they launched the first low-carbon ETF and have also been the first to launch ETFs in circular economy, blue economy, ESG infrastructure, and sustainable listed real estate.
“The authorization of BNP Paribas Easy ICAV will allow us to expand our ETF offering in countries that favor investment in Irish ETFs such as the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the Nordic countries. Furthermore, the launch of the first ETF domiciled in Ireland, BNP Paribas Easy S&P 500 ESG UCITS ETF, is a significant milestone in the development of our range of sustainable ETFs.Sol Hurtado de Mendoza, Managing Director of BNP Paribas Asset Management for Spain and Portugal.