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Six months Eurex ESG Futures – a first summary

Release date: 22 Aug 2019 | Eurex Exchange, Eurex Clearing, Eurex Group

Six months Eurex ESG Futures – a first summary

Six months after their launch in February, our Environmental Social Government (ESG) derivatives have reached 235,000 traded contracts and recently peaked at EUR 782 million in open interest. Time for a first review with Michael Peters, Member of the Eurex Executive Board.

 
 

Six months ago, Eurex opened a new chapter in responsible investing by starting an ESG segment. Still a good decision? And how is this market doing in general?

Yes, definitely! Launching the first ESG derivatives related to European benchmarks has been a very good decision and a great success. Eurex has received positive feedback from instutional clients as well as banks and sees liquidity provided by market makers steadily improving. Positions have been shifted from the existing benchmark to the more sustainable alternatives especially in June, the last roll month.

Regarding the market in general, the assets under management show disproportionate growth. To give you an example: A recent study from Allianz Global Investors shows that investors appetite for ESG is “blooming”. 71 percent say that ESG investing will grow dramatically more popular in three years; 56 percent would allocate more to ESG if benchmarks improved and 71 percent of investors say they will manage all their portfolios in an ESG conscious way by 2030 – some even sooner.

We started with three futures on the STOXX® indexes with ESG-X, Low Carbon and Climate Impact criteria: which is the most successful and why?

The product in focus is the future on the STOXX® Europe 600 ESG-X which is based on the STOXX® Europe 600 index, one of Europe's key benchmarks with standardized ESG exclusion screens applied. This future meets demand of leading asset owners for screens based on their responsible policies. The majority of ESG strategies is related to exclusions (based on norms-based and negative screening). This is where the current demand comes from.

Climate derivatives cover an important theme which is – with regards to assets under management – still a niche. However, the EU is very committed to ambitious climate and energy targets for 2030 in line with the UN 2030 Agenda, the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) and the Paris Agreement. This long-term strategy will also increase the need for Eurex Low Carbon and Climate Impact futures. All three futures offer what investors want: ESG and financial performance.

Which customers showed the greatest interest?

Client demand – especially from the Nordic region – is strong. About half of the trading volume is done on the agent account and corresponds with the feedback received in pre-launch consultations with asset managers.

What are the next steps? Is there more to come from Eurex?

Yes, this was just the beginning. We are working on an extension of our product range to cover more regions and options to offer a broad and diverse ESG eco system on the Eurex platform. Moreover, we have started to consult with investors on their need for more advanced ESG index concepts, for example, an ESG “Best in Class” futures contract.

Market participants can expect more to come latest in Q4 (options, further regions and more ESG focused index methodologies). It remains Eurex’s focus to provide market participants with efficient derivatives instruments to meet the requirement to incorporate ESG into their investment strategies.

Further information

 

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