Quant ESG Equity Fund NFO – Should you Invest?

Quant ESG Equity Fund NFO Review - Should you invest-buy-notQuant ESG Equity Fund NFO Review

Quant MF is planning to launch ESG Fund scheme which invests in Environment, Social and Governance criteria. ESG is gaining ground with increase in total assets under socially-responsibility investment. This ESG equity fund from Quant  MF would open for subscription on October 15, 2020. Don’t get confused with the Quantum ESG India Fund, which is from Quantum MF whereas this NFO is from Quant Mutual Funds (Erstwhile Escorts MF). What is this ESG theme all about? Should you invest in the Quant ESG Equity Fund NFO? Would ESG funds create wealth in the medium to long term?

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What is ESG theme?

ESG represents factors viz. Environmental (such as impact of business on natural resources), Social (such as a business, having undesirable social of the scheme impact) and Governance (being the way in which the company is run). Quality companies with a competitive advantage, sustainable business model and visibility of earnings growth are the best avenues for long term wealth generation. ESG factors can complement traditional tools for evaluating and identifying quality businesses and thus improve the overall understanding of the company.

Typically, it is seen that the companies that have strong ESG metrics are companies that are well governed and treat their responsibilities to the environment and society seriously and as a result are likely to avoid negative external shocks that can impact their business models.

Quant ESG Equity Fund NFO – Issue Details

This is an open-ended mutual fund. Here are the NFO issue details.

NFO Issue Details
Scheme Opens 15-Oct-20
Scheme Closes 31-Oct-20
Scheme reopens for continuous purchase/sale After 5 working days from closure of NFO
Minimum investment (Lumpsump) Rs 5,000
NAV of the fund Rs 10 during NFO period
Entry Load Nil
Exit Load 1% if exited within 1 year
Risk High Risk
Max Total expense Ratio (TER) 2.25%
Benchmark Nifty 100 ESG TRI
Fund Manager Mr. Anikt Pande (Equity)
Mr. Sanjeev Sharma (Debt)
Mr. Vasav Sahgal (International Equities)

Download Quant ESG Equity Fund NFO SID

Who is eligible to invest in this mutual fund scheme?

The following can invest in this scheme.

1) Indian resident adult individuals, either singly or jointly.

2) Minors through Parents/Lawful Guardian.

3) Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) through its Karta.

4) Partnership Firms in the name of any one of the partners.

5) Proprietorship in the name of the sole proprietor.

6) Companies, Body Corporate, Societies, Association of Persons, Body of Individuals, Clubs and Public Sector Undertakings registered in India if authorized and permitted to invest under applicable laws and regulations.

7) Banks

8) Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) / Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) on full repatriation basis or on non-repatriation basis;

Complete list of eligible participants who can invest can be checked in the NFO prospectus.

Quant ESG Equity Fund NFO – Investment Objectives

To generate long term capital appreciation by investing in a diversified portfolio of companies demonstrating sustainable practices across Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) parameters.

However, there can be no assurance that the investment objective of the Scheme will be achieved.

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What is the allocation pattern in this mutual fund scheme?

Type of instruments Allocation % Risk Profile
Equity and Equity related instruments of companies with favorable
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria
80% to 100% High
Other Equity and Equity related securities 0% to 20% High
Debt & Money Market instruments 0% to 20% Low to Medium
Units issued by REITs & InvITs 0% to 10% Medium to High

Can NRI invest in this MF scheme?

Yes, they can invest in this scheme. They can invest on repatriation or non repatriation basis. However, Resident of Canada, US persons and OCBs cannot invest in this scheme.

Why should you invest in Quant ESG Equity Fund NFO?

Here are a few reasons to invest in such schemes.

1) It is unique mutual fund scheme that invests in ESG Criteria.

2) As indicated in our earlier articles, according to a report by Bloomberg Intelligence earlier, ESG and sustainability-focussed ETFs should continue to grow based on niche themes such as low-carbon, climate and gender. While developed market ESG indices outperformed in 2018, the MSCI Emerging market ESG leaders trailed but still outperformed on a long-term basis. These indices need to keep up their out-performance to keep the investments coming, the report said. Now this concept is spreading wide in India.

3) There has been strong research evidence of ESG investing delivering superior returns since companies with strong sustainability scores demonstrate better operational performance and are less risky.

Major risk factors you should consider before investing in such funds

One should consider some of these risk factors / negative factors before investing.

1) This scheme invests based on ESG criteria where such investment strategy is relatively new in India. A mutual fund may or may not gain from such new strategies in the short term.

2) Companies that have good ESG criteria could be available at high share prices. This fund might invest in such stocks at a high price for which the real worth could be at a low.

3) It invests up to 20% in debt instruments where there is interest rate risk and risk of downgrading of corporate credit rating. It also invests up to 20% in InvITS and REITs which are high risk.

4) This fund would invest up to 35% in foreign securities, including ADRs / GDRs. This would have affect due to Geo political factors in that country where it invests + foreign exchange conversion risk.

5) Investors should read the NFO prospectus before investing in such mutual fund schemes.

How is the Performance of ESG Mutual Funds in India?

Currently there are few funds in this ESG segment. Let us look at the performance of these existing ESG funds.

Fund Name 6 month Annualised Returns
1 Year 3 Year 5 Year
Axis ESG Equity Fund 18%
Quantum India ESG Equity Fund 31% 9.0%
SBI Magnum Equity ESG Fund 30% -0.2% 4.9% 7.5%

Also Read: Mirae Asset ESG ETF – Should you invest?

Should you invest in the Quant ESG Equity Fund NFO?

As indicated earlier, we have seen several scams in the last few years. It could be PNB, DHFL etc. Companies with good corporate governance tend to perform well in the medium to long term. Indian investors are now moving towards focussing on investing in corporates that meets ESG criteria which could be a relatively safer bet. If you are a high risk investor, you can invest in this scheme. Alternatively, if you do not want to test with such new fund, you can invest in some of the existing ESG mutual funds that had already proven its performance. Moderate to low risk investors should stay away from such funds.

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Suresh KP

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