Why Thematic Bonds May Be a Hit in Latin America & Caribbean
Equities have traditionally dominated the market for ESG investing, but green, social and sustainable bonds, commonly called thematic bonds, are the hot new thing. Latin America and the Caribbean is uniquely positioned to benefit from this new type of investment.
Four insights for banks willing to seize sustainable finance opportunities
Attitudes towards environmental, social and governance factors are changing across the investment and lending community in Latin America and the Caribbean. Financial impacts associated with extreme weather events, growing regulatory and industry pressures on climate-related risk disclosure, and enhanced availability of data, are key aspects influencing companies’ views of environmental, climate, social and governance (ESG) factors. As a result, the role of ESG analysis is shifting from an ancillary function to an integral part of fundamental analysis and new business propositions. IDB Invest’s annual Sustainability Week (Lima, Peru – May 7-9, 2018) took a pulse on this shift, exploring wider sectoral trends within agribusiness, infrastructure, and banking sectors. For the financial community, in particular, there were four key messages from Sustainability Week:
Sustainable Finance: What can the financial sector do to better manage environmental and social risks?
In January 2018, Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock published an open letter to the CEOs of publicly traded companies. His message was clear, companies have a responsibility to deliver profit, and make “a positive contribution to society.” Failure to do the latter comes at the risk of losing its license to operate. Consumers can influence through decisions to purchase products from companies that value broader corporate goals of environmental impact, workforce diversity, and community engagement. What may come as a surprise statement from a private equity fund with $6 trillion under management is increasingly the de facto market standard.
Three Trends in Sustainable Finance across LAC
2017 could be another record year for green investment products as the issuance of green bonds globally is forecast to rise to $206 billion, twice the volume from 2016. This shows how in the last few years, the finance sector has taken serious interest in sustainability’s potential to deliver profit, even though the benefits of environmental and social management have long been understood.