French SRI assets hit €223bn in 2014

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Socially responsible investing (SRI) strategies have accounted for €223bn of assets invested in France in 2014 according to the annual report of Novethic, a French research center specialist in responsible investment, and the Forum pour l’Investissement Responsable (FIR).

The figure rose by 31% yoy and its growth has doubled. In 2013, it reached €169.7bn, up 14% in comparison with 2012.

The study reveals that a best-in-class approach, favouring the best rated companies in their sectors on the basis of ESG criteria, is used for 90% of the assets invested in SRI.

Assets invested in strategies including ESG criteria in France last year amounted to €356bn, up 20% yoy.

The share of institutional investors in SRI reached 82% against 18% for retail investors. Two thirds of the assets come from insurers.

Norm-based exclusions, defined by Novethic as refusing to invest in companies committing serious and frequent violations of international agreements, amounted to €1,952bn in France in 2014, up 34% yoy. Novethic underlined that this practice, which was “nonexistent” ten years ago, is now becoming widespread.

Green funds (environmental thematic funds, green bonds and environmental infrastructures) accounted for €3.8bn of the assets invested in responsible investment strategies in France last year.

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