Weekly Impact Investment Market Update: August 4, 2017

Impact Investing & ESG

Toniic Podcasts with Impact Investors

There are exploitative elements of capitalism, as well as innovative and regenerative elements. In this podcast, Thomas Van Dyck of the SRI Wealth Management Group details how he taps into the latter as he navigates the often grey areas of impact evaluation and engages with clients, shareholders, and other stakeholders in aligning their values with their investment decisions.

The Millennial Marketplace and the Propagation of the Triple Bottom Line

Backed by an impressive $2.45 trillion in spending power, millennials now represent the world’s most important consumer category. Companies are paying attention, and they’ve gathered an impressive amount of data on millennial buying behavior. They’re acutely aware that the majority of millennial consumers — roughly 70% — will spend more on brands that support a cause they care about.

Culture of Transparency: Putting Impact Investing on the Map

The impact investing field has grown leaps and bounds since the Global Impact Investment Network first started tracking the growth of the field in 2010. Networks like Toniic and The ImPact have brought together a range of interested investors who want to learn more about allocating for impact. Even dedicated impact funds are attracting LPs with diverse motivations. To truly scale impact investing, we need to continue to engage in discourse around the challenges and solutions we are encountering in our everyday work.

OpenInvest Launches First Impact Investing Category to End Human Trafficking

OpenInvest, an impact investing platform empowering individuals to drive social change with their dollars, today announced the launch of the first impact investing category that works to end forced labor and human trafficking. Using data and analysis provided by JUST Capital, a nonprofit organization that measures companies against the priorities of the American people, 20 publicly traded companies were identified that have demonstrated the highest commitments to fighting forced labor in their supply chains, among other human rights abuses.

J.P. Morgan will Facilitate $200 Billion in Clean-Energy Financing by 2025

The bank is making what it calls “the largest commitment by a global financial institution” to facilitating clean energy financing. That bank did about $15 billion in such deals in 2015, including green bonds, tax-equity financings, project financing and even IPOs; the new pledge would boost that to about $22 billion a year.

ESG: the New ABCs of Portfolio Management?

Environment, social, and governance (ESG) factors provide an analysis framework for deep-dives into three pillars: Environmental, Social and Governance. These factors may have a material impact on the financial performance of the company. Unlike Socially Responsible Investment (SRI), ESG does not necessarily involve the exclusion of some sectors, such as weapons, tobacco, gambling, alcohol and animal testing. Instead, it offers a framework to analyse an investment opportunity from a different forward-facing perspective.


United States & Europe

US Economy Creates 209,000 Jobs in July

The unemployment rate edged lower to 4.3%, matching May’s figure which was the lowest since 2001. Employment in food services and drinking places rose 53,000 – that sector has now added 313,000 jobs since July 2016. Employment in health care and professional and business services also saw strong growth.

Developing Economies

Zambia’s Rural Homes to be Equipped with Pay-To-Own Solar Home Systems Expected to Help Eliminate Use of Candles

Energy and financial services firm Fenix International is working to deploy pay-to-own solar home systems in Zambia leveraging telecommunications giant MTN’s mobile money platform. In partnership with the Swedish Embassy in Zambia, which committed nearly $3-million to the project up to 2020, Fenix is taking its first step in expanding its flagship product, ReadyPay Power, across Africa, after successful deployment in Uganda.

Uganda: Tanzania, Uganda Sign Rural Electricity Deal

Tanzania and Uganda have signed yet another Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the supply of electricity to villages along the Uganda-Tanzania border. The signing ceremony which was held in Bukoba, Kagera Region at the weekend, comes just four days before President John Magufuli and his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, lay a foundation stone for the construction of the East African crude oil pipeline from Hoima in Uganda to Tanga Port in Tanzania.

26-Year-Old Founder Wants to Change Payments in Africa

26-year-old Nigerian entrepreneur Iyinoluwa Aboyeji wants Silicon Valley to fund a future where Africa is included. Aboyeji is the cofounder of Flutterwave, a payments API that makes it easier for banks and businesses to process payments across Africa. The service allows consumers to pay for things in their local currency; Flutterwave takes care of integrating banks and payment-service providers into its platform so businesses don’t have to take on the expense and burden.

PERU: Economy to Grow More than 4% in 2018 – Kuczynski

The Peruvian economy will grow at a rate of more than 4% next year, returning to the path economic dynamism, despite the natural disasters caused by the El Niño climate phenomenon and corporate corruption investigations, said the South American country’s president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in a speech.

UN Latin America Commission Forecasts Low but Positive Growth for Region in 2017

The Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2017 foresees that, after two years of contraction, nearly all countries in the region will experience, on average, 1.1 per cent positive growth rates in 2017 – except for Venezuela, whose gross domestic product (GDP) is seen falling -7.2 per cent; and Saint Lucia and Suriname, which is forecast to contract -0.2 per cent.

Emerging Markets AUM from 0.4T to $11.2T in 25 Years

The scale of the growth in emerging markets over the past quarter-century has been outstanding. During this period there has been close to 30 fold increase in US dollar emerging market equity capitalization from $0.4 trillion in January 1992 to around $11.9 trillion today, according to research from Credit Suisse.