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俄罗斯币安账号(accbuy.vip):Social good in financial markets

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CLICK TO ENLARGETHE concept of environmental, social and governance (ESG) has become very big especially in the financial markets in recent years. Before ESG became the hype, the key word used was sustainability. It was all encompassing and far reaching, suited for developmental strategies of companies and organisation alike. Of course, by 2016, the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals 17 became the globally recognised agenda. If I were to sum it all up, the idea behind these well thought out concept is about social good.

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF), as the largest fund in our country with close to RM1 trillion in investment assets, have led the way in this space. In walking the talk, EPF being the buy side major client, encouraged the sell side research fraternity to include ESG metrics in their reports as part of the future industry standard. The adoption, while recent in Malaysia, is not new overseas. Various indexes like the FTSE4Good Index series (a series of benchmark and tradable indexes for ESG investors) has existed since 2001.CLICK TO ENLARGE

In short, the ESG concept, while it is all the hype today, is not a novel idea. It has been around for longer than most investors would care to notice.

Paul Tudor Jones II, is the founder of Tudor Investment Corporation and billionaire hedge fund manager whose early success came when he correctly predicted the 1987 Black Monday crash. During the time, he tripled his money with large short positions in place. His bet on the collapse of the United States stock market then returned 126% net of fees, earning an estimated profit of US$100mil (RM418mil). After making his money, he co-founded the Robin Hood Foundation (not to be confused with the Robinhood Markets Inc, the popular commission free trading app), which was one of Forbes 100 largest charity foundation in 2016 with net assets of US$391mil (RM1.6bil). What is more interesting was when Jones founded a non-profit Just Capital to help investors learn about companies which are considered “just”. This led to Goldman Sachs creating an ETF known as JUST US Large Cap Equity ETF (Ticker: JUST) in 2018 which comprised of companies believed to be “just” based on the research of Just Capital. Chart 1 shows the performance of JUST ETF since its inception to date on June 7 2018, with a return of almost 57% as at 29 Sept 2021, equivalent to an annualised return of 17.5% per annum.

The big question is how to balance the focus on ESG versus social cost, companies’ balance sheet or profitability, without going overboard. China’s recent power outage impacting 16 provinces and 31 cities is a clear example. Coal being the main power generation source for the nation has been criticised both within China and by other countries as a major cause of pollution, resulting in climate change. Yet with an essential daily need for common people disrupted, is this the price to pay for aggressive carbon neutrality policy by China’s government in their pursuit of lower carbon emission goals or just another instance of the global supply chain disruption?

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