Publication of AMF study on SFDR classifications and fossil fuel exposure
The AMF* published on 23 March 2023, an overview of SFDR** classifications introduced by the SFDR regulation on the French fund market. This assessment covers 10,600 French collective investment schemes, representing assets under management of more than €1.9 trillion at end-2021. As this assessment is based on data at end-2021, it does not take into account the possible reclassifications made by some funds, especially over the fourth quarter of 2022.
At the end of 2021, one fifth of French funds representing half of the assets under management promoted environmental or social characteristics (Article 8 funds) or claimed a sustainable investment objective (Article 9 funds):
Article 8 funds by themselves account for 19% of the market (number of funds) and 47% of assets under management
Article 9 funds account for 2% of the market (number of funds) and 3% of the total net assets of French funds.
Furthermore, this study compares these classifications with the portfolios’ exposure to fossil fuel industries. Article 8 and Article 9 equity funds have a lower exposure to fossil fuel industries than their Article 6 equivalents. The results are far less clear-cut for the other fund types and the difference of exposure to fossil fuel sectors between Article 8 and Article 6 is hardly ever significant. These results suggest that the definition of Article 8 funds is probably not very discriminating and supports the AMF’s proposal of February 10, 2023 to introduce in the European regulation minimum environmental criteria that financial products should comply with in order to be classified as Article 8 or Article 9 under the SFDR (SFDR: AMF proposal to introduce minimum environmental standards).
* AMF: Autorité des Marchés financiers - French Securities Regulator
** SFDR: Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation