New BlackRock fund screens out tobacco stocks
Global investment manager BlackRock has launched the BlackRock Developed World ex Tobacco Index Fund to meet demand from organisations in the healthcare sector, charities, medical foundations and pension schemes.
The fund assists investors seeking to tailor their socially responsible investment strategies by providing a low cost exposure to global equity markets whilst also excluding stocks in the tobacco and controversial weapons sectors from their portfolios.
Doug Shaw, head of BlackRock’s Charities Business, said: “Many investors, not least UK charities, want to invest in a way which is consistent with their own ethos and values. BlackRock’s indexing expertise and long history of working with charities, health and life insurers have come together to provide this new low-cost fund designed to meet the demands of investors to gain global equity market exposure whilst screening out certain sectors".
The fund’s benchmark is the MSCI World ex Tobacco ex Controversial Weapons Index. The exclusion of tobacco and controversial weapons sectors in the fund will lead to small changes in country allocations, performance and dividend yield compared to the MSCI World Index.
The fund is part of BlackRock’s range of index solutions, which has £1.1 trillion of assets under management globally. BlackRock’s charities business is one of the largest investors of ethical active and passive funds in the UK and has over 5,000 clients. It offers a range of investment funds which follow socially responsible strategies and an individual portfolio management service for larger charities.
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