Impact Investing & ESG
The so-called “private sector” was the star of the High-Level Political Forum, a two-week session in which countries and agencies are to take stock of the progress toward the 2030 goals. A main challenge is to see the “financing gaps” as “investment opportunities,” as sustainable-development-is-good-business takes hold as conventional wisdom.
The tipoff that impact investing is indeed reaching a new stage in the capital markets came when Deval Patrick described the $390 million Bain Capital Double Impact Fund as “a small first fund.”
Japanese lender Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and other investors are set to invest some 30 million yen ($267,714) in a new program that will see private investments help fund public social services. The core unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group will team up with Japan Social Impact Investment Foundation (SIIF), which launched this month Japan’s first “social impact bond” to fund a Kobe city program on chronic kidney disease.
Morningstar is working with a global financial services industry body to better prepare financial advisers for incorporating sustainable investing into advice practices. Collaborating with the US-based Money Management Institute, the program focuses on the incorporation of ESG factors into investment portfolios and their impact.
“Female advisors are more likely to express interest in ‘responsible’ investing strategies than their male counterparts,” a report from Eaton Vance’s second quarter Advisor Top-of-Mind Index stated. “Forty-six percent say responsible investing is an important part of their practice, compared with 38 percent of male advisors, while 44 percent expect to increase their responsible investing recommendations in 2017, compared with 35 percent of male advisors.”
United States & Europe
Residential construction rebounded from a three month decline in June with housing starts increasing to 1.22 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The number of housing projects started last month shows an 8.3% increase from the May figures and a 2.1% increase from June of last year.
IHS Markit’s Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index – seen as a good guide to growth – climbed to 56.7 from February’s 56.0, its highest reading since April 2011. Anything above 50 indicates growth.
A stretch of coral reef off Mexico is the testing ground for a new idea that could protect fragile environments around the world: insurance. The reef, off the coast of Cancún, is the first to be protected under an insurance scheme by which the premiums will be paid by local hotels and government, and money to pay for the repair of the reef will be released if a storm strikes.
When it comes to Latin America investing destinations, Chile often goes overlooked relative to Brazil and Mexico, the region’s two largest economies, but that should not take away from opportunity with the iShares MSCI Chile Capped ETF (NYSEArca:ECH). Up nearly 22% year-to-date, ECH is one of this year’s best-performing emerging markets single-country ETFs. This year, ECH is easily outperforming its Brazil, Colombia and Peru counterparts as Chilean stocks work their way toward record highs.
Brazil’s justice minister and the top prosecutor both insisted Wednesday that the corruption probe they’ve led against their country’s top politicians will continue in full force, even after ensnaring President Michel Temer. Justice Minister Torquato Jardim says the investigation, dubbed Operation Car Wash, is a win for Brazilians.
The two agriculture powers submitted the proposal, which would exempt the least developed countries from subsidy limits, in the run-up to a WTO meeting in Buenos Aires in December. The EU and Brazil are two of the world’s biggest producers of agricultural products.
Last year, the 11 social lenders, including Root Capital, Alterfin and responsAbility, collectively deployed $682 million, up 9% from the year earlier, to 765 agribusinesses in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Surging global demand for Asian exports and low oil prices will help China and the region’s developing economies grow faster than expected this year and next, the Asian Development Bank said. The region should now grow by 5.9 per cent this year and 5.8 per cent in 2018.