Weekly Impact Investment Market Update: May 19, 2017

Impact Investing & ESG

Fidelity Launches Two ESG Index Funds

Their new domestic fund is based on the MSCI USA ESG Index, while the international fund is based on the MSCI All Country World Index. Both follow large- and mid-cap companies with high ESG performance relative to sector peers in their respective markets.

Growth-Market Private Equity Investors Look to 2030 Global Goals for Direction

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals focus on “do no harm” investment approaches and represent up to $12 trillion in revenues and savings by 2030.

Public Policy and Investments in Quality Jobs

This document is the second installment of an exploration of the capacity of the impact investing industry, business owners, and policymakers to support job creation. This installment focuses on how public policy can direct capital to quality job-making businesses, and what changes can be made to encourage further job creation.

Annual Impact Investor Survey 2017

The Global Impact Investing Network released their annual survey on the activities of 209 leading impact organizations, presenting investors’ perspectives on current issues and market topics in the impact investment industry.

The OECD’s View on Integration of ESG Issues into Investments – What Next?

The OECD published a report in early May which had various findings: that strong regulatory frameworks can incentivize investors to include ESG factors into their investment governance where they are consistent with financial obligations; that ESG factors can influence investment returns through their impact on companies’ financial performance; and that while ESG related portfolio risks are difficult to measure, tools are being developed to remedy this issue.

Morgan Stanley Investment Management Raises More Than $125 Million for its First Global Impact Fund

The PMF Integro Fund I gives investors exposure to a diverse portfolio which seeks to maximize commercial returns while accomplishing various impact objectives in under served populations.

Five Things to Know About the Social (Impact) Scene in Asia

The CEO of the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network highlighted five themes in the Asian impact industry, including: that momentum is building for investment in social businesses, with successes like Korean startup Tree Planet paving the way; that interest in themes like education and health needs to increase; and that local laws need to evolve to pave the way for social purposes merging with financial objectives.


United States and Europe

Trump Crisis Mushrooms on Russia-Probe Report, “Nut Job” Remark

While a senior White House adviser close to President Trump has been identified as a “person of interest” in the federal investigation of Russian collusion, the President is traveling to Saudi Arabia; with this visit he hopes to unify Muslim, Jewish, and Christian leaders against extremism, and to reestablish the U.S. as a global leader.

Macron in Mali: France Will Be “Uncompromising” in Fight Against Terrorists

New French President Macron has reaffirmed the nation’s commitment to fight against Islamic terrorists in Mali. In an attempt to strengthen ties and improve security in the West African country, Macron has met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

Global Cyber-Attack: Security Blogger Halts Ransomware “By Accident”

The spread of the malware, which was designed to lock users’ data until a ransom was paid, has been halted after a UK security researcher registered an unregistered web address connected to the malware. Existing infected computers are still affected, but the researcher’s registration of the web address activated the “kill switch”, preventing the malware from spreading to any new devices.


Emerging Markets

Apartheid Still Casts Shadow Over South Africa Agriculture

Despite major segregation legislation for land ownership being repealed, there is still a large disparity in the proportion of white and black farmers who own land in South Africa. The head of the Agri SA cooperative, Omri Van Zyl, asserts that this disparity must be addressed to prevent the nation becoming food insecure in the future.

Mutual Funds Get Crushed by Brazil

Amid accusations that implicate the Brazil President Michel Temer in bribery, mutual funds with large holdings of Brazilian assets have seen huge losses; for example, the Fidelity Latin America Fund’s value dropped 12 percent on Thursday alone.

Argentina and China Sign Contract for Two Reactors

A general contract was signed between Nucleoeléctrica Argentina SA, China National Nuclear Corporation, and China Zhongyuan Engineering Corporation; the agreement affirms that China will contribute 85% of the required financing for the construction of two new power plants in Argentina, as first agreed upon in November 2015.

One-Third of Asia’s Wealth May Change Hands in the Next Five Years

The younger Asian economies will see their “first-ever major inter-generational wealth transfer”; as 90 percent of billionaire fortunes don’t survive longer than two generations, this shift creates a need for more family offices in these economies.

Indonesia, China Consortium Sign 45 bln Loan for Rail Project

The loan from China Development Bank will cover 75% of total costs to build the country’s first fast-train rail link connecting Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, to its textile hub in Bandung.