Islamic financing instruments can put the S in ESG, says S&P Global Ratings – covered by specialist press

As COVID-19, and the measures implemented to slow its spread, continues to impact economies around the globe, the link between Islamic finance and the social aspect of environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-focused investing are coming to the fore, according to S&P Global Ratings.

While the similarities between Islamic finance and the environmental and governance aspects of ESG have long been recognised, the social aspect of Islamic finance has until now been somewhat secondary. Now, with COVID-19 hampering core Islamic finance markets – and unemployment rates rising – the Islamic finance industry has been exploring the possibility mitigating the damage with social instruments.

S&P Global Ratings believes Islamic finance social instruments can support core Islamic countries, banks, and corporates in navigating today’s uncertain economic landscape.

Following outreach by Moorgate, the report was covered by The Peninsula Qatar, ZAWYA, Khaleej Times, Al Bawaba, Trade Arabia, Gulf News, Gulf Times, MENA FN, Al Khaleej Today, and Pakistan Observer

Commerzbank releases latest edition of FI.News

Commerzbank has published the latest edition of FI.News, the bank’s newsletter for financial institutions. Featuring various in-depth articles and interviews, the biannual newsletter collects Commerzbank’s latest insights on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for financial services in today’s transformational times.

Financial institutions are understandably operating in challenging circumstances. Yet this edition of FI.News keeps its gaze firmly ahead –  exploring the ways that the current situation could be a catalyst for change in a number of areas, including digitalisation, trade finance, African trade and sustainable finance. The newsletter also provides latest news stories and internal updates from the Commerzbank Institutionals division.

Moorgate has produced FI.News since 2013. The latest edition may be found here.

S&P Global Ratings outlines potential credit risk for GCC posed by the energy transition, covered by specialist press

A lack of economic diversification, coupled with a sometimes-lower availability of external funding sources, means that a decreased oil and gas prices and shifting investor appetite could contribute to deteriorated creditworthiness for some GCC banks. That’s according to S&P Global Ratings, in its recent report mini-series exploring the credit risks that the transition towards cleaner energy sources could have on the GCC’s banks and overall economy.

While GCC economies have somewhat diversified away from oil since 2012, S&P Global Ratings’ hypothetical long-run stress test suggests that the average rating of a Gulf sovereign could fall by two notches from ‘BBB+’ to ‘BBB-’ if oil prices fall below US$40 by 2040, highlighting that the current pace of economic and fiscal diversification is insufficient to counter the decline in oil prices.

Following outreach by Moorgate-Finn, the research was covered by Trade Arabia, ZAWYA, AMEInfo, and The Peninsula Qatar.

Planet Tracker and LSE launch report calculating the dependence of sovereign bonds on natural capital

A report published by non-profit financial think tank Planet Tracker in collaboration with The London School of Economic (LSE)’s Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment examines the dependence of sovereign bonds on reliable flows of natural capital – that is, the world’s stock of natural resources.

The report identifies Argentina and Brazil as the two G20 countries facing the greatest number of risk factors associated with their economic dependence on their natural capital stocks such as soybean and cattle. An estimated 28% of Argentina’s sovereign bonds and 34% of Brazil’s sovereign bonds will be exposed to anticipated changes in climate and anti-deforestation policy over the next decade. For Argentina, this rises to 44% after 2030.

In the report, Planet Tracker and the LSE propose a first framework for factoring natural capital risks into sovereign debt analysis based on traditional credit rating factors: institutional, economic, trade, natural hazards, and fiscal.

Following Moorgate-Finn’s outreach, the report was covered by Bloomberg, Yahoo Finance, Environmental Finance, Natural Capital Coalition, Green Finance Platform, Bonds & Loans, Public Debt Management Network, Investing.com and Financial Post.

Planet Tracker paper on key environmental risks for the US$45bn farmed shrimp industry covered by tier-one and specialist press

In its recent briefing paper, non-profit financial think tank Planet Tracker explored the financial impact that ongoing environmental risks could have on companies and investors in the US$45 billion shrimp industry.

Responsible for 30% of deforestation of South East Asia’s mangroves, shrimp farming is facing short-to-medium term sustainability-related supply chain risks as wholesale buyers such as Nestlé transition towards deforestation-free supply chains. The report also points to a key regulatory risk in regard to the sector’s biggest regional importer, the EU, which is seeking to ban all deforestation-linked soft commodities with its incoming Action Plan on Deforestation.

Yet despite the financial impact that such environmental risks could have on investors in the farmed shrimp industry, Planet Tracker has found no evidence of these institutions reporting against either historical mangrove deforestation or farmed shrimp emissions in their portfolios.

Following outreach by Moorgate, the paper was covered by The Economist (World Ocean Initiative)Financial TimesEnvironmental Finance, Responsible InvestorThe Asset, BusinessGreen, GreenBiz, Undercurrent News, The Fish Site, Mis Peces, Karma Impact, ImpactAlpha here and here, The ESG Channel, The Green Finance Platform, and FocusTechnica

 

Global political uncertainty and ESG are influencing infrastructure investment, says S&P Global Ratings

Across the globe, political uncertainty is increasingly becoming the rule rather than the exception. Meanwhile, trade tensions continue to define relationships between major players – such as China the U.S. and Europe. Both factors may induce caution among infrastructure investors.

Writing for Institutional Investing in Infrastructure, S&P Global Ratings’ Karl Nietvelt, Head of Research in Global Infrastructure, agrees that geopolitical events are influencing the market.

Indeed, infrastructure is “an asset class with typically lengthy lifespans that, therefore, benefits from political and regulatory calm,” according to Nietvelt. Yet today’s uncertain political climate, underpinned by elections in 2019, could dampen market confidence.

Another influential trend is the rising impact of environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns throughout the infrastructure sector. Organisations prioritising these issues “have achieved reduced costs, mitigated risk potential, and created revenue-generating opportunities,” continues Nietvelt.

Read the full article in Institutional Investing in Infrastructure here.

Coordination, cooperation, collaboration: BNY Mellon discusses approaches to narrowing the trade finance gap in Asian Banking & Finance

The trade finance gap is a serious issue that is impacting the health of global trade and business development in many countries across the world. In Asian Banking & Finance, BNY Mellon Treasury Services’s Joon Kim, Global Head of Trade Finance Product and Portfolio Management, and Arnon Goldstein, Regional Head of Relationship Management APAC, discuss the key findings of BNY Mellon’s recent global survey into the trade finance gap. The article examines solutions for addressing the gap, and the importance of taking action in order to ensure trade in Asia can reach its full potential.

To read the full article, please click here

BNY Mellon picks up three EMEA Finance Treasury Services Awards

BNY Mellon has won three awards in EMEA Finance magazine’s 2019 Treasury Services Awards, including retaining its title of “Best Transactional Bank for Financial Institutions in EMEA” for an astonishing tenth consecutive year. BNY Mellon was also named “Best Transactional Bank for Financial Institutions in the Middle East” and the provider of the “Best FX Services in EMEA” for its market-leading FX solution, SmartPaySM Global.

The awards were presented to BNY Mellon Treasury Services’s Bana Akkad Azhari, Head of Relationship Management MEA and CIS; Marcus Sehr, Head of Europe; and Ross Jones, Head of FX and Multicurrency Payment Product, at Sibos.

To read the full awards write-up in EMEA Finance, please click here (please note, the article lies behind a paywall)

BNY Mellon and EMEA Finance partner to host Saudi roundtable

This is an extraordinary moment in the history of one of the Middle East’s largest economies. The changes underway in Saudi society are both palpable and visible. And the changes underway within the Kingdom’s banking and financial system are equally remarkable, if less visible. As with other countries, digitisation is causing banks to fundamentally rethink their role, while new players are providing innovative services to both consumers and businesses alike. Here, a roundtable co-hosted by BNY Mellon, the Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB) and EMEA Finance brings together industry leaders to share their views and expertise on how banks in the Kingdom are adapting to the evolving landscape and capitalising on new opportunities.

To read the full write-up, see the Sibos edition or click here (please note, the article lies behind a paywall)

Adani Green Energy’s proposed US$362.5 million green bonds score E1/90 in S&P Global Ratings’ Green Evaluation, covered by specialist press

S&P Global Ratings scored Adani Green Energy Ltd. Restricted Group 2 (AGEL RG2)’s proposed US$362.5 million green bonds E1/90 under its Green Evaluation – the highest score on the Green Evaluation scale of E1-E4, comprising a Mitigation score of 90, a Transparency score of 89, and a Governance score of 93.

The bonds will be used to finance and refinance solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants and related transmission infrastructure in Karnataka and Rajasthan, India.

“AGEL RG2’s intention to use 100% of the proceeds for solar PV power projects is the main driver of the high score,” said Cheng Jia Ong, the primary analyst of the Green Evaluation.

Following Moorgate’s outreach, news of the Green Evaluation was covered by Renewables Now and PV-Magazine.