Last Friday, at a conference in Paris, organised by BNP Paribas Investment Partners on “Finance and Environmental issues”, NYSE Euronext announced the launch of a new carbon index identifying European companies with a low carbon footprint: the “Low Carbon 100 Europe® Index”. This conference attracted investors, asset management professionals, NGOs and academics.
At the same time, BNP Paribas announced the creation of a new ETF, using the newly launched index as its underlying, the first to do so: “EasyETF Low Carbon 100 Europe”, which will list on Euronext Paris shortly. This ETF will give investors the opportunity to invest in companies with a low-carbon footprint.
The Low Carbon 100 Europe® Index is designed to measure the performance of the 100 largest blue-chip European companies with the lowest carbon (CO2) emissions in their respective sectors or sub-sectors. The index uses data provided by Trucost, a UK-based environmental research company, and Crédit Agricole Cheuvreux . It is based on a unique methodology developed in collaboration with experts from Paris Dauphine University and validated by an independent scientific committee.
The new index has been created in partnership with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs): AgriSud, GoodPlanet.org and WWF. When compared to the group of 300 of the largest European companies used as a benchmark, the companies included in the Low Carbon 100 Europe® Index have, on average, around 42% lower carbon emissions. This shows that NYSE Euronext is providing investors with an effective instrument that takes into consideration CO2 emissions and may be used as a relevant benchmark for portfolio management as well as a suitable underlying for index-linked products such as ETFs.
Jean-François Théodore, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, NYSE Euronext said: “There is a growing investor appetite for products that are carbon efficient and we are delighted to launch the first pan-European low-carbon index, specifically designed with the support of an international group of experts and in close relation with NGOs . This innovative initiative enables NYSE Euronext to offer investors a new trading tool and to enlarge our environmental offer, which already includes Bluenext and Metnext.”
Trucost Chief Executive Simon Thomas said: “Trucost’s work with NYSE Euronext provides all investors with the opportunity to invest in carbon-efficient companies in their industry sectors. As the cost of emissions increases, the ground-breaking ETF and underlying index are designed to enable fund managers and retail investors to achieve above market returns with a much lower exposure to carbon risk.”
EasyETF Low Carbon 100 Europe will aim at replicating the performance of the reference index, upward or downward.
Gilles Glicenstein, Chairman and Chief Executive, BNP Paribas Asset Management, said: “We are proud to associate the name of BNP Paribas Asset Management with this initiative and to be able before long to launch, with the support of our NGO partners, an innovative product. EasyETF Low Carbon 100 Europe will be the first tracker enabling individual and institutional investors to integrate the carbon constraint in their investment choices. Besides, the launch of this new product is a natural expansion of our commitment in management and promotion of sustainable and responsible investment.”
The NGOs which initiated this project are more than happy to see that two major actors on the European financial stage (BNP Paribas Asset Management and NYSE Euronext) are actively interested in ecological issues, in particular, reducing carbon dioxide emissions. They know that in the economic world, it is essential to have company involvement and action to be able to solve these issues.
The “Low Carbon 100 Europe®” index and EasyETF Low Carbon 100 Europe fund will not fail to grab the attention of quoted companies and encourage them to make an effort to be on the index as their names will be supported by the new index and the new tracker. The ball is therefore back in companies’ and investors’ court,” concludes Robert Lion, President of Agrisud.
More information about the Low Carbon Europe 100 Index (composition, historical data, FAQ) can be found on the following website: www.euronext.com/LC100Europe
EasyETF, off the beaten track Trackers
The EasyETF range is a unique offer, benefiting from the combined expertise of AXA Investment Managers and BNP Paribas in fund management, market-making, as well as distribution. Its aim is to give investors access to an ever growing variety of asset classes (equity, bonds, money market, credit, real estate, commodities, Shariah equities etc.) and diverse economic sectors (Bank, Health, Media etc.) as well as thematics (Infrastructure, environment, Nuclear etc..) in order to allow them to fine-tune the performance of their asset allocation strategies.
The EasyETF product range now includes 53 trackers, of which 47 are listed on Euronext Paris, 10 on Deutsche Börse, 2 on the Swiss Stock Exchange (SWX) and 7 on Borsa Italiana for a total of €3.960 billion* in assets under management.
Further information on the EasyETF range and trackers investment strategies is available on www.easyetf.com.
(*) Data as at end of September 2008.
About BNP Paribas Asset Management
BNP Paribas Asset Management is a European leader in traditional, indexed and structured investment management. Original core activity of BNP Paribas Investment Partners, BNP Paribas Asset Management has euro 225 billion of assets under management*, and more than 900 people servicing clients in 59 countries. It offers a wide range of management capabilities with a shared focus on innovation, robustness and consistency of investment processes as well as accuracy of risk control. Since 2002, fund management firm BNPP AM has boasted a dedicated team of portfolio managers and analysts specialising in the assessment of companies based on social, environmental and corporate governance criteria. In 2006, BNPP AM became one of the first to sign the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and currently holds the Vice-Presidency of the International Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC). BNP Paribas Asset Management’s excellence is reflected by Fitch’s second-highest rating: M2+.
* Figures as at 30 June 2008, assets under advisory included.
About NYSE Euronext
NYSE Euronext (NYX) operates the world’s leading and most liquid exchange group, and seeks to provide the highest levels of quality, customer choice and innovation. Its family of exchanges, located in six countries, includes the New York Stock Exchange, the world’s largest cash equities market; Euronext, the Eurozone’s largest cash equities market; Liffe, Europe’s leading derivatives exchange by value of trading; NYSE Liffe, the company’s U.S. futures business and NYSE Arca Options, one of the fastest growing U.S. options trading platforms. NYSE Euronext offers a diverse array of financial products and services for issuers, investors and financial institutions in cash equities, options, futures and derivatives, ETFs, bonds, market data, and commercial technology solutions. As the world’s largest exchange group by number of listings and market capitalization, NYSE Euronext is home to more than 6,500 listed issues (as of Oct. 1, 2008) with total global market capitalization more than four times that of any other exchange group. The average daily trading value of NYSE Euronext’s equity exchanges represent more than one-third of the world’s cash equities trading. NYSE Euronext is part of the S&P 500 index and the only exchange operator in the S&P 100 index. For more information and free real-time stock prices for all NYSE-listed securities, please visit www.nyx.com.