South Korea’s second largest institutional investor the Korean Teachers’ Credit Union (KTCU) will up society-conscious and venture investing this year, its chairman said.
In a recent interview with Maeil Business Newspaper, the KTCU Chairman Moon Yong-rin said he agrees on the need for public institutional investors to turn greater attention to society and environment.
To up investment in socially responsible companies, investors need more information on companies’ environment, social and governance (ESG) factors, he said, urging more companies to disclose information on their ESG factors.
There are fewer than 100 firms out of more than 2,000 listed firms in Korea who disclose ESG information, a pitiful record compared with advanced economies like the U.S. and U.K. where reporting ESG factors is mandatory for a company with 500 employees or more. Moon also cited a study that found companies with better ESG standards are more profitable and better performing in the long term.
He pledged that the KTCU will double its investment in startups and SMEs to 150 billion won ($141 million) this year from 80 billion won last year to cooperate with the government policy to promote startups to stimulate the economy. Regarding some people’s worry that venture investment carries a bigger risk, he emphasized that the KTCU is “financially sound enough to withstand a loss of 150 billion won or so.”
Moon was appointed in 2016 to lead the KTCU that manages 25 trillion won after serving as a Seoul National University professor, education minister and Seoul education superintendent. The nation’s second biggest institutional investor after National Pension Service (NPS) delivered a return of 7.7 percent and earned 445.2 billion won in profit last year.
By Park Eun-jin and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]