September 8, 2017 / 6:51 AM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-Tokyo bourse approves listing of Japan's first ESG funds by Daiwa Asset

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TOKYO, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Japan Exchange Group, the operator of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, said on Friday it had approved the listing of three socially responsible exchange-traded funds - the first of their kind in Japan - created by Daiwa Asset Management.

The exchange approved the listing of Daiwa ETF FTSE Blossom Japan Index, Daiwa ETF MSCI Japan ESG Select Leaders Index, and Daiwa ETF MSCI Japan Empowering Women Index.

The funds will track the socially responsible indexes - also known as ESG, or environmental, social, governance - that Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) adopted in July.

The exchange said Daiwa’s three ETFs would start trading on Sept. 26.

The approval comes at a time when ESG investment is expected to rapidly expand, after the world’s largest pension fund with $1.3 trillion under management raised its allocation to ESG investments to 10 percent of its stock holdings from 3 percent.

GPIF selected FTSE Blossom Japan index, a new index compiled by FTSE Russell for the Japanese pension fund, as well as MSCI Japan ESG Select Leaders index and MSCI Japan Empowering Women index. (Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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