Market Commentary

Anton Murray - Market Commentary

ESG: Actively driving change

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Investment Banking MC, Investment Banking News, Market Commentary, News

InvestorDaily

Environmental, social and governance investing is in vogue globally, but there seems to be a particular fascination for it in Australia. Speaking at the recent Aberdeen Standard Investments Changing Investment World forum in Sydney, ASI’s global head of stewardship and ESG investment Euan Stirling noted that despite the variety of ESG interpretations in the market, actively changing companies for the better should be at its core.

What is ESG investing?

ESG investing acquired some inaccurate associations with non-financial issues during its early days, according to Mr Stirling.

While some see the primary focus of ESG being ethical investing, again, this was not Mr Stirling’s view. While he does support stock selection within ethical funds, he believed ESG investing to be about much more than that.

“It is about creating the right long-term outcomes for our clients through the prism of environmental, social and governance considerations. For example, if we invest in a business that is exploiting workers and treating them poorly, then returns will simply not be sustainable. The same for a business that produces toxic emissions.

The rest of this article can be found at investordaily.com.au.

Instos issue climate challenge ahead of G7

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Funds Management MC, Funds Management News, Investment Banking MC, Investment Banking News, Market Commentary, News

InvestorDaily

Australia’s largest investors have joined 288 institutions representing US$26 trillion to call on governments around the world to address climate change. The 2018 Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change has been delivered to government leaders ahead of the G7 Summit, which is held in Canada on 8 and 9 June. The statement, made by 288 institutions with US$26 trillion in assets under management, called on governments to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The key objective of the Paris Agreement is to keep global average temperature rises to well below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels and preferably to 1.5 degrees. Australian signatories to the statement include AustralianSuper, First State Super, VicSuper, BT Financial Group and Colonial First State Global Asset Management. The statement also called on governments to accelerate private sector investment into the low-carbon transition and to commit to improving climate-related financial reporting.

The rest of this article can be found at investordaily.com.au.

‘Credit crunch’ would hit bank dividends: UBS

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Investment Banking MC, Investment Banking News, Market Commentary, News

InvestorDaily

In a research note on the Australian banking sector, UBS analyst Jonathan Mott laid out a ‘credit crunch’ scenario under which the banks would be forced to cut dividends. Tightening credit conditions and negative sentiment are already causing the Australian housing market to slow following a prolonged boom in Sydney and Melbourne, said Mr Mott. Other factors that have UBS concerned are the royal commission’s “rigorous interpretation” of the responsible lending laws, APRA’s focus on sound lending practices, and the Labor Party’s pledge to limit negative gearing should it win the next federal election.

“Given these headwinds we expect a sharp slowdown in credit growth. Whether this turns into a more disorderly correction, or if there are any potential political interventions remains to be seen,” said Mr Mott. The question will be, he said, whether banks can maintain their dividends. If there is an orderly slowdown in the housing market, the banks should be able to generate enough capital to maintain dividends, Mr Mott said.

The rest of this article can be found at investordaily.com.au.

More than half of instos expect to adopt AI

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Funds Management MC, Funds Management News, Investment Banking MC, Investment Banking News, Market Commentary, News

InvestorDaily

According to survey results from Northern Trust, nearly 60 per cent of institutional investors and asset managers located in Australia expect “meaningful adoption” of AI in under two years. Meanwhile, Singaporean and Hong Kong institutional investors see AI adoption happening in two to five years. For the financial services sector, Northern Trust head of market advocacy and innovation research for Asia Pacific Danielle Henderson said this would mean “a continuing transformation of the efficiency of operational services, the provision of increasingly insightful information and enhanced client experiences”.

“Market developments may include machine learning capabilities for faster and deeper data consumption, advanced analytics for better decision making and natural language generation for automated report commentary,” she said. Northern Trust head of global fund services for Asia Caroline Higgins added: “In Asia-Pacific we have seen regulatory changes either built within existing policy frameworks, or shifted, as the market landscape transforms. Amidst the fast-evolving financial market ecosystem and the growing importance of technological innovation, collaboration amongst financial institutions, technology enablers, regulators and governments is vital to supporting the efficiency, security and transparency emerging technology can bring.”

The rest of this article can be found at investordaily.com.au.

Big banks told to brace for diversity legislation

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Investment Banking MC, Investment Banking News, Market Commentary, News

InvestorDaily

PwC is advising its high-level clients, including major banks and CEO-level leaders, to plan for government-mandated reporting and diversity policies. Women account for only 26.7 per cent of ASX 200 directorships according to AICD figures, and the average OECD woman earns about 15 per cent less than her male counterparts, according to PwC. The persisting inequities create a climate for legislative intervention which large Australian businesses will need to brace for, according to PwC’s chief diversity and inclusion officer Julie McKay.