Chief executive officer Heenam Choi has confirmed that Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) will consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects when deciding on future investment, the Yonhap Infomax reported. 

“KIC has endeavored to become a responsible investor by adopting a stewardship code, a set of principles which are intended to direct the exercise of voting rights held by institutional investors, two years ago,” Choi said at the 2020 Institute for Global Economics — Hana Bank International Conference. “KIC should protect the social needs of the world.”

Choi said that he had realized the importance of social needs through the Covid-19 epidemic, and believed the KIC should not make short-sighted choices that neglect human values. The KIC would focus on the social sector in its future investment.

He said the corporation will manage exposure for companies with low ESG ratings in traditional investments, and make an ESG review on alternative investment assets to oversee companies and assets subject to investment.

“We will also closely examine how ESG factors are reflected in the investment process when selecting internal investment managers.” 

Choi said the KIC will be looking to invest in local suppliers that benefit from weakened global supply chains due to Covid-19. He stressed that the KIC will find opportunities to invest in e-commerce and software companies and will pay attention to data centers, telecommunication infrastructure and healthcare companies.

The CEO outlined how the KIC will invest its $157 billion of assets.

“In the short term, we will seize opportunities to strategically place assets,” Choi said. “In the long term, we will focus on sectors that can benefit from structural changes while focusing on other sovereign wealth funds and LPs (limited partners).” (Reporting by Hyewon Chang)