High demand: sustainable investment certificates
The Austrian National Bank recently (May 2020) published an article. Based on its individual securities deposit statistics and information from certification and information centres in Austria and abroad, the article describes the volume of labelled sustainable investment funds for the years 2018 and 2019.
The market volume of domestic mutual funds certified with the Ecolabel Directive "Green Funds" UZ 49 was EUR 7.4bn at the end of December 2019. This corresponds to approximately 7.2% of the volume of all domestic mutual funds. Investment certificates are playing an increasingly important role in the investments of private domestic households. The share of investment certificates held in the total securities assets of Austrian households rose from 23.1% (EUR 57.3 billion) in 2018 to 25.1% (EUR 66.0 billion) in 2019.
A more detailed analysis of this trend also reveals strong demand for retail funds linked to sustainability aspects in 2019. The household stock of domestic sustainable investment certificates after UZ 49 almost doubled between 2018 and 2019 from EUR 1.5bn to EUR 2.8bn. This is due to an increase in the number of certifications as well as price effects and positive net transactions by households.
In 2019, the total household holdings of sustainable investment certificates in Austria and abroad amounted to EUR 3.8 billion, or 6.3 % of investments in mutual funds. Ecologically and socially sustainable bonds (also often referred to as "green bonds") offer investors another investment opportunity in sustainable financial products. Since March 2018, Wiener Börse has offered emitters a platform for sustainable bonds (Green and Social Bonds) that meet the standards of the Green Bond Principles (GBP). In December 2019, the market value of the outstanding volume of domestic green bonds listed on this platform totaled EUR 3.0 billion.