There is growing evidence that global warming, particularly through its effect on agriculture, may create inflationary pressures, and that the physical and transition risks created by climate change could jeopardize financial stability. So, why is there no consensus among central bankers on how monetary policy should respond?
23 Jan 2023
Far from being a short-term trend, sustainable investing is set to become a long-term growth story for the Asia-Pacific region, a new report finds. Other than banks, insurers and digital advisers are also likely start onboarding environmental, social, and governance (ESG) products on their shelves this year, bolstered by strong demand from wealthy investors, Cerulli Associates says. Three-quarters of distributors in Asia ex-Japan said in a survey that high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients are driving sustainable investments in the region, although some mass retail investors have also “shown interest” in ESG products, Cerulli says. While net flows into locally-domiciled ESG funds plunged to US$2.3 billion during the first half of 2022, or just a little over 7% of the total amount raised during 2021, Cerulli says it does not expect ESG investing to fall out of favour in the region. The below-average numbers from the first two quarters of 2022 can be attributed to regulatory initiatives across the region that aims to address greenwashing. Challenging market conditions also had an effect on lower capital deployed to ESG products during the period. Distribution deals Leena Dagade, Cerulli’s Singapore-based associate director, says research also indicates that over the long term, most funds will be ESG-integrated already, and innovation will instead take place in sustainability-themed strategies. “As the number of ESG products increases, positioning of fund ideas and marketing will need to be more focused to gain investors’ interest, while there should be continued dialogue with distribution partners to educate them about ESG and thematic investing,” Degade adds. Meanwhile, in terms of innovations in distribution models, Cerulli says some fund managers, particularly in Singapore and Hong Kong, are looking to gain a foothold by inking exclusive ESG product distribution agreements with local banks. This new distribution model will typically see banks exclusively distribute an asset management company’s product for a period of up to six months, Cerulli says, adding that the model means bank clients have exclusive access to some products. On the other hand, Cerulli says asset managers in Taiwan and Singapore are looking to tie up with insurance companies to distribute their ESG products. Digital advisers The firm has also noticed a rise in digital advisers expanding their offerings to include sustainability-themed investments. Since digital advisers typically cater to retail investors with small investable funds, these types of partnerships allow fund houses to experiment with bundling sustainability-linked products with low-cost offerings. An example of a digital adviser branching out to ESG products is StashAway, which introduced two new products in February 2022 – the Environment and Cleantech Thematic Portfolio and the Responsible Investing (RI) Portfolio. Both portfolios are made up of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from some of the world’s top fund managers, such as iShares (managed by BlackRock), Amundi, ARK Invest, Global X, and VanEck. The products are currently available to StashAway clients in Singapore, Malaysia and the Middle East, as well as in Hong Kong and Thailand. In the same report, Cerulli says it is confident more APAC investors will allocate a portion of their assets to ESG funds as soon as markets stabilize. In turn, this will see more products registered in offshore markets like Singapore and Hong Kong.
16 Jan 2023
Regional regulators uniquely positioned to align, enhance ESG risk management, disclosure
13 Jan 2023
After a year of energy shocks, natural disasters and calls for new investments in hydrocarbons, efforts to reduce our fossil fuel dependency have gained greater urgency. While the world made some additional progress in 2022 to address climate change and protect nature, much remains to be done to overcome entrenched interests.
7 Jan 2023
The world economy’s carbon intensity is declining at nowhere near the rate needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C. But while continuing to tout an unrealistic goal could hamper progress, as people become demotivated or simply stop viewing the effort as credible, setting a more feasible goal raises risks of its own
31 Dec 2022
A growing number of institutional investors and family offices are seeing the value of forestry as an asset class that offers stable returns and an effective vehicle to achieve sustainability goals
28 Dec 2022
Six decades after the green revolution began, the rise of robotics and artificial intelligence may usher in another agricultural transformation. By enabling farmers to grow more while using fewer resources and generating less waste, these tools could make food more sustainable, accessible and cheaper to produce
26 Jan 2023
To mitigate the worst effects of climate change and prevent societal breakdown, we must shift to renewable energies and reduce extreme inequality. But doing so would require massive increases in public spending, which is why governments must overhaul their outdated and regressive tax systems
18 Jan 2023