Now reading:

Rethinking investments

Rethinking investments

  • 01 April 2022
  • By OCBC Wealth Management and Allianz Global Investors
  • 5 mins read

Sustainable investing has seen significant growth in its assets under management over the past five years, as more investors now recognise ESG risks and seek to influence policy outcomes. From social justice issues to extreme weather conditions, these topics have been the top agenda for customers, businesses, and policymakers.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has served as a wake-up call to drive the need for a different investing approach, with similarities drawn between the unanticipated risks from the pandemic and issues such as climate and social change. Undoubtedly, investors have become more aware of sustainability issues and climate change.

The Emergence of Sustainable Investing

Sustainable investing is defined as incorporating ESG factors into investment decisions to manage risk better and generate sustainable, long-term returns. To begin with, we need to understand what sustainable development means.

The most common definition is from the United Nations Brundtland Report in 1992, which describes sustainable development as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In our modern-day economy, the corporate world typically uses ESG as a framework to integrate sustainability into business operations. The allocation of capital has been recognised as a pivotal lever to realise transformative change towards sustainability.

Future proof your investments with sustainable ESG investing.
Future Proof Your Investments with Sustainable ESG Investing

Invest now or visit any OCBC branch during opening hours.

Reasons to Choose Sustainable Investing

Four dimensions capture the key importance and benefits of sustainable investing:

  1. Contribution to global goals,
  2. Management of risks,
  3. Capturing hidden opportunities, and
  4. Enhancing financial performance

Contribution to global goals: The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), established in 2015, define our global society’s greatest challenges and establish a concrete blueprint to promote a better and more sustainable future for all. The 17 SDGs address a range of social and environmental needs, including education, health, social protection, climate change and environmental protection. Similarly, the Paris Agreement of 2016 also establishes a clear target for managing climate change. Sustainable investing allows investors to not only generate returns as with traditional investing but simultaneously put their money to work for good, contributing to a brighter future.

Sustainable Development Goals
Source: United Nations, 1 April 2022

Management of risks: In the latest Global Risks Report, the World Economic Forum continues to identify environmental and societal risks as the top, most severe risks on a global scale over the next ten years. Risks such as insufficient climate action, extreme weather, livelihood crises are factors that investors can no longer ignore. They can translate into material impacts to the real economy and investments. From an investment perspective, putting on an ESG lens to inform investment decisions can help better manage these risks of this era.

Top 10 ESG Risks
Source: World Economic Forum, 11 January 2022

Capturing hidden opportunities: In an increasingly complex world, the traditional accounting-based financial analysis is becoming inadequate to cope with other intangible factors. ESG factors manage risks and help identify and capture new opportunities along the transitional pathway of sustainable development. These could include new opportunities from enhanced resilience, new products, and new markets.

Enhancing financial performance: Whilst it isn't easy to pinpoint cause and effect relationships between ESG and financial performance, many academic studies have found a positive correlation between the two. In a meta-study published in 2021, the New York University Stern School of Business found that most individual research papers from 2015 to 2020 found that sustainability had positive or neutral impacts on financial performance.

Figure 1: Positive and/or neutral results for investing in sustainability dominate
Source: ESG and Financial Performance, New York University Stern Centre, 10 February 2021

How to choose a robust sustainable investing strategy

  1. Does the investing strategy incorporate a holistic consideration of ESG?

    Only a holistic review of sustainability will ensure a complete view of sustainability, effective risk management, and capturing new opportunities.

  2. Does it have a sound methodology to enhance exposure to sustainability characteristics?

    One way is through the "best-in-class" approach, which rates issuers by their sustainability performance and aims to select the best performers in each sector or the investment universe.

  3. Are they flexible to include issuers that may not be the best performers in terms of sustainability today but is quickly and significantly improving in their sustainability performance?

    This is known as the "best-effort" approach, which includes the portfolio issuers that have made the most significant sustainable development effort. Having this element to complement the "best-in-class" approach captures more upside potential and new opportunities.

  4. Is the portfolio supported by an active ownership approach?

    The philosophy of active ownership is that sustainable investing is a continuous process where the investment manager partners with investee companies, actively collaborating to ensure the companies and investment's long-term success. In practice, this is implemented via active share voting and engagement.

  5. Does the sustainable investing strategy offer transparency into the sustainability outcomes of the investment?

    Reporting on impact can give investors peace of mind that their investments are channelled towards sustainability, and it also ensures the transparency and integrity of the sustainable investing strategy.


By investing sustainably, investors know that they are putting their money to better use on wide-ranging issues from climate change, improving working conditions, diversity, and inclusion to tackling inequality.

When you invest sustainably, it reduces the risks by staying clear of companies exposed to unsustainable practices such as labour unrest, pollution or unfair practices that can damage the reputation, leading to undesirable economic performance. With that, we believe that incorporating ESG into the investment decision process can help investors mitigate specific risks and help improve portfolio quality.

Investors seeking to gain exposure in a proven investment process with a positive impact on society may consider the Allianz Global Sustainability fund. The fund is a high-conviction Sustainable Responsible Investment (SRI) principles fund and invests in a global portfolio of quality stocks with sustainable growth at reasonable valuations. It also upholds a disciplined investment process that integrates ESG assessment of prospective investments, focusing on companies with solid aspects of ESG and financial characteristics.

Additional Information

Important notices

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

  1. Any opinions or views of third parties expressed in this document are those of the third parties identified, and do not represent views of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (“OCBC Bank”, “us”, “we” or “our”).
  2. This information is intended for general circulation and / or discussion purposes only. It does not consider the specific investment objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person.
  3. Before you make an investment, please seek advice from your Relationship Manager regarding the suitability of any investment product taking into account your specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs.
  4. If you choose not to do so, you should consider if the investment product is suitable for you, and conduct your own assessments and due diligence on the investment product.
  5. We are not making an offer, solicit to buy or sell or subscribe for any security or financial instrument, enter into any transaction or participate in any trading or investment strategy with you through this document. Nothing in this document shall be deemed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell or subscribe for any security or financial instrument or to enter into any transaction or to participate in any particular trading or investment strategy.
  6. No representation or warranty whatsoever in respect of any information provided herein is given by OCBC Bank and it should not be relied upon as such. OCBC Bank does not undertake an obligation to update the information or to correct any inaccuracy that may become apparent at a later time. All information presented is subject to change without notice.
  7. OCBC Bank shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising directly or indirectly howsoever in connection with or as a result of any person acting on any information provided herein.
  8. Investments are subject to investment risks, including the possible loss of the principal amount invested. The information provided herein may contain projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events or future performance of countries, assets, markets or companies. Actual events or results may differ materially. Past performance figures, predictions or projections are not necessarily indicative of future or likely performance.
  9. Any reference to a company, financial product or asset class is used for illustrative purposes and does not represent our recommendation in any way.
  10. The information in and contents of this document may not be reproduced or disseminated in whole or in part without the Bank’s written consent.
  11. OCBC Bank, its related companies, and their respective directors and/or employees (collectively “Related Persons”) may, or might have in the future, interests in the investment products or the issuers mentioned herein. Such interests include effecting transactions in such investment products, and providing broking, investment banking and other financial services to such issuers. OCBC Bank and its Related Persons may also be related to, and receive fees from, providers of such investment products.
  12. You must read the Offer Document/Indicative Term Sheet/Product Highlight Sheet before deciding whether or not to purchase the investment product, copies of which may be obtained from your relationship manager.
  13. Any hyperlink to any third party article, or other website or webpage (including any websites or webpages owned, operated and maintained by third parties) is for informational purposes only and for your convenience only and is not an endorsement or verification of any such article, website or webpage by OCBC Bank and should only be accessed at your own risk. OCBC Bank does not review the contents of any such articles, website or webpage, and shall not be liable to any person for the same.

Foreign Currency

  1. Foreign currency investments or deposits are subject to inherent exchange rate fluctuation that may provide opportunities and risks. Consequently, exchange rate fluctuations may affect the value of your foreign currency investments or deposits.
  2. Earning on foreign currency investments or deposits may change depending on the exchange rates prevalent at the time of their maturity if you choose to convert.
  3. Exchange controls may apply to certain foreign currencies from time to time.
  4. Any pre-termination costs will be taken and deducted from your deposit directly and without notice.

Dual Currency Returns

  1. By buying Dual Currency Returns, you are giving us the right to repay you at a future date in a different currency from the currency in which you made your original investment, even if you would prefer not to be paid in this currency at that time. Dual Currency Returns are affected by foreign exchange rates, which may affect how much you get back from your investment. You may receive less than you originally invested.
  2. Foreign exchange control restrictions may apply to the foreign currencies linked to your Dual Currency Returns. As a result, we may repay your investment and interest in a different currency. You may receive less than you originally invested when the amount of this different currency is converted back to the base currency (the currency you originally invested). You may be able to get information on foreign exchange control restrictions, if any, for each foreign currency offered in relation to Dual Currency Returns, from the relevant monetary, regulatory or other governmental authorities for that currency.
  3. We will not end Dual Currency Returns before the maturity date (the date they are due to end). You may, however, withdraw the amount you originally invested before the maturity date. If you do this, please remember that you will have to pay any charges that apply which are calculated based on the amount of the time remaining before maturity date, as well as current market conditions relating to strike prices, foreign exchange rates and changes in the underlying foreign exchange pair. These charges may mean that you get back much less than you originally invested. Please feel free to approach your relationship manager for details of the procedures and charges that apply if you withdraw your Dual Currency Returns investment before the maturity date.
  4. Dual Currency Returns are not insured deposits for the purposes of the Deposit Insurance and Policy Owners’ Protection Schemes Act of Singapore.

Collective Investment Schemes

  1. A copy of the prospectus of each fund is available and may be obtained from the fund manager or any of its approved distributors. Potential investors should read the prospectus for details on the relevant fund before deciding whether to subscribe for, or purchase units in the fund.
  2. The value of the units in the funds and the income accruing to the units, if any, may fall or rise. Please refer to the prospectus of the relevant fund for the name of the fund manager and the investment objectives of the fund.
  3. Investment involves risks. Past performance figures do not reflect future performance.
  4. Any reference to a company, financial product or asset class is used for illustrative purposes and does not represent our recommendation in any way.
  5. For funds that are listed on an approved exchange, investors cannot redeem their units of those funds with the manager, or may only redeem units with the manager under certain specified conditions. The listing of the units of those funds on any approved exchange does not guarantee a liquid market for the units.
  6. The indicative distribution rate may not be achieved and is not an indication, forecast, or projection of the future performance of the Fund.

Cross-Border Market Disclaimers

  1. General: The document provided by Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited, Singapore (“OCBC Singapore”) is for general information only and is not intended for anyone other than the recipient. It does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person, and does not constitute an offer or solicitation by OCBC Singapore to buy or sell or subscribe for any security or financial instrument or to enter into a transaction or to participate in any particular trading or investment strategy nor an advice or a recommendation with respect to such financial products. This document may not be published, circulated, reproduced or distributed in whole or in part to any other person without OCBC Singapore’s prior written consent. This document is not intended for distribution to, publication or use by any person in any jurisdiction, where such distribution, publication or use would be contrary to applicable law or would subject OCBC Singapore and its related corporations, connected persons, associated persons and/or affiliates to any registration, licensing or other requirements within such jurisdiction.
  2. Brunei: This document has not been delivered to, licensed or permitted by the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam, the authority as designated under the Brunei Darussalam Securities Markets Order, 2013 and the Banking Order, 2006; nor has it been registered with the Registrar of Companies, Registrar of International Business Companies or the Brunei Darussalam Ministry of Finance. The products are not registered, licensed or permitted by the Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam or by any other government agency or under any law in Brunei Darussalam. Any offers, acceptances, sales and allotments of the products shall be made outside Brunei Darussalam. Indonesia: The offering of the investment product in reliance of this document is not registered under the Indonesian Capital Market Law and its implementing regulations, and is not intended to constitute a public offering of securities under the Indonesian Capital Market Law and its implementing regulations. According, this investment product may not be offered or sold, directly or indirectly, within Indonesia or to citizens (wherever they are domiciled or located), entities or residents, in any manner which constitutes a public offering of securities under the Indonesian Capital Market Law and its implementing regulations.
  3. Malaysia: OCBC Singapore does not hold any licence, registration or approval to carry on any regulated business in Malaysia (including but not limited to any businesses regulated under the Capital Markets & Services Act 2007 of Malaysia), nor does it hold itself out as carrying on or purport to carry on any such business in Malaysia. Any services provided by OCBC Singapore to residents of Malaysia are provided solely on an offshore basis from outside Malaysia, either as a result of “reverse enquiry” on the part of the Malaysian residents or where OCBC Singapore has been retained outside Malaysia to provide such services. As an integral part of the provision of such services from outside Malaysia, OCBC Singapore may from time to time make available to such residents documents and information making reference to capital markets products (for example, in connection with the provision of fund management or investment advisory services outside of Malaysia). Nothing in such documents or information is intended to be construed as or constitute the making available of, or an offer or invitation to subscribe for or purchase any such capital markets product.
  4. Myanmar: The provision of any products and services by OCBC Singapore shall be solely on an offshore basis. You shall ensure that you have and will continue to be fully compliant with all applicable laws in Myanmar when entering into discussion or contracts with OCBC Singapore.
  5. Oman: This document does not constitute a public offer of investment, securities or financial services in the Sultanate of Oman, as contemplated by the Commercial Companies Law of Oman (Royal Decree No. 184/2019), Banking Law of Oman (Royal Decree No. 114/2000) or the Capital Market Law of Oman (Royal Decree No. 80/1998) and the Executive Regulations of the Capital Market Law (Ministerial Decision No. 1/2009) or an offer to sell or the solicitation of any offer to buy non-Omani investment products, securities or financial services and products in the Sultanate of Oman. It is being provided to a limited number of sophisticated investors solely to enable them to decide whether or not to make an offer to invest in financial products mentioned in this document, outside of the Sultanate of Oman, upon the terms and subject to the restrictions set out herein and may not be reproduced or used for any other purpose or provided to any person other than the original recipient. Additionally, this document is not intended to lead to the making of any contract within the territory or under the laws of the Sultanate of Oman. The Capital Market Authority of Oman and the Central Bank of Oman take no responsibility for the accuracy of the statements and information contained in this document or for the performance of the financial products mentioned in this document nor shall they have any liability to any person for damage or loss resulting from reliance on any statement or information contained herein.
  6. Russia: The investment products mentioned in this document have not been registered with or approved by the local regulator of any country and are not publicly distributed in Singapore or elsewhere. This document does not constitute or form part of an offer or invitation to the public in any country to subscribe for the products referred to herein.
  7. Taiwan: The provision of the information and the offer of the service concerned herewith have not been and will not be registered with the Financial Supervisory Commission of Taiwan pursuant to relevant laws and regulations of Taiwan and may not be provided or offered in Taiwan or in circumstances which requires a prior registration or approval of the Financial Supervisory Commission of Taiwan. No person or entity in Taiwan has been authorised to provide the information and to offer the service in Taiwan.
  8. Thailand: Please note that none of the material and information contained, or the relevant securities or products specified herein is approved or registered in Thailand. Interests in the relevant securities or products may not be offered or sold within Thailand. The attached information has been provided at your request for informational purposes only and shall not be copied or redistributed to any other person without the prior consent of OCBC Singapore or its relevant entities and in no way constitutes an offer, solicitation, advertisement or advice of, or in relation to, the relevant securities or products by OCBC Singapore or any other entities in OCBC Singapore’s group in Thailand.
  9. The Philippines: The information contained in this document is not intended to constitute a public offering of securities under the Securities Regulation Code of the Philippines.
  10. Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC): OCBC Singapore is not a financial institution licensed in the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”) or the United Arab Emirates outside of the DIFC and does not undertake banking or financial activities in the DIFC or the United Arab Emirates nor is it licensed to do so.
  11. United Kingdom: In the United Kingdom, this document is being made available only to the person or the entity to whom it is directed being persons to whom it may lawfully be directed under applicable laws and regulations of the United Kingdom (such persons are hereinafter referred to as ‘relevant persons’). Accordingly, this document is communicated only to relevant persons. Persons who are not relevant persons must not act on or rely on this document or any of its contents. Any investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to relevant persons and will be engaged in only with relevant persons. Relevant persons in receipt of this document must not distribute, publish, reproduce, or disclose this document (in whole or in part) to any person who is not a relevant person. The deposits referred to in this communication are maintained with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited, Singapore (“OCBC Singapore”). OCBC Singapore is incorporated in Singapore and is authorised and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Certain deposits offered by OCBC Singapore are covered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Scheme, subjected to conditions. The bank’s paid up capital and reserves exceeds SGD 1.5 billion – further information about the capital position of OCBC Singapore may be found at OCBC Bank’s website: > OCBC Group > Investors > Annual report and AGM.
  12. United Arab Emirates (UAE): The offering of certain products in this document has not been and will not be registered with the Central Bank of United Arab Emirates or Securities & Commodities Authority in the United Arab Page 2 of 2 CBMD -20210615 Co.Reg.No:193200032W Emirates. Any products in this document that are being offered or sold do not constitute a public offering or distribution of securities under the applicable laws and regulations of the United Arab Emirates. This document is not intended for circulation or distribution in or into the UAE, other than to persons in the UAE to whom such circulation or distribution is permitted by, or is exempt from the requirements of, the applicable laws and regulations of the United Arab Emirates. The distribution of the information contained herein by the recipient is prohibited. Where applicable, this document relates to securities which are listed outside of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and the Dubai Financial Market. OCBC Singapore is not authorized to provide investment research regarding securities listed on the exchanges of the United Arab Emirates.
  13. United States of America: This product may not be sold or offered within the United States or to US persons.

Future proof your investments

Invest in Allianz Global Sustainability Fund