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Asia’s asset managers falling behind in proxy voting disclosure

Asset managers in Asia Pacific are lagging behind their global counterparts when it comes to voting policies on ESG issues, suggests recently published research. According to the UK-based NGO ShareAction and its latest Point of No Return series, only two of the 13 Apac-based firms in the report provide specific climate voting commitments to their investors. This compares poorly with the 77% and 72% of asset managers in the US and Europe, respectively, that provide such voting commitments. Asian asset managers also fared poorly on social voting policies. While 95% of US asset managers and 82% of European asset managers have such policies in place, barely more than half (54%) of Apac-based managers can say the same. The report also showed that Asian asset managers were less transparent about their proxy voting records. Only 31% disclose their votes quarterly compared to 77% of European asset managers and 64% of US asset managers. The publication of the report coincides with the announcement from the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) that it is to set up an office in Beijing to promote its work in Asia. “China is the world’s second-largest economy and plays a vital role in supply chains for companies around the world—making it an important jurisdiction as the ISSB develops its global baseline of sustainability disclosures for the capital markets,” said  ISSB chair Emmanual Faber. “The Beijing office will play a vital role in this endeavour.” ©2023 funds global asia

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