More than 8 out of 10 high-net-worth (HNW) investors in the Middle East are showing a strong shift towards sustainable investment, according to Swiss private bank Lombard Odier.

A survey by the bank showed that 85 percent intended to increase their exposure to environmental, social and governance (ESG) or sustainable investments, with 81 percent already taking both factors into account when making investment decisions. 

More than 7 out of 10, or 72 percent, believe they can generate improved returns through ESG investments, with 33 percent of their investments already classed as sustainable, said the bank.

The survey showed that this will increase to 52 percent in the next five years.

The bank said there was also strong momentum for Shariah finance strategies, with sukuks and Islamic loans the two most favoured Shariah-compliant asset classes in the region, with 67 percent saying observing Islamic investment principles in their investments is important to them.

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)