The Week in Green (February 23rd edition)

Nordic Green Bond Insurgence and Sustainable Disruption

The Climate Bonds Initiative published a new report, The Green Bond Market in the Nordics, finding that the Scandinavian countries now account for 6.7% of the entire global green bond market (and 18.5% of the European market), with green bond issuances reaching €7.8 billion. Sweden (6), Norway (16), Denmark (17) and Finland (20) all made the global top 20 for the size and performance of their green bonds. Norway’s Storebrand Asset Management had a bumper 2017 with a 25% increase in AUM (€73 billion at year’s end), a success it attributes to its range of sustainable funds and sustainable solutions as it looks towards expanding at the European level. Swedish insurance and investment management Company Folksam Group became the sole investor in a World Bank-issued $350 million 7-year bond focusing on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a move announced last year. 

Elsewhere in Stockholm, Svanen, the ‘Nordic Swan’ Ecolabel, held a ‘Fund Value Day’ to encourage Swedes to invest in Swan-labelled funds, recognising the gap between people’s theoretical willingness to invest in sustainable funds and their knowledge of their options. The actively managed Didner&Gerge Global Fund was awarded the Svanen label on the same day (February 21st), joining only 13 other funds with that distinction. The Nordic Investment Bank signed a €110 million long-term agreement with Swedish mining and smelting company Boliden towards sustainable water and other management (NordSIP). Kames Capital International Equities Manager Craig Bonthron feels positive about ‘growth disruptors’ who can capture value from sustainable trends.

Heard on E-Street

Promotion

On that note, Kames Capital and the Nordic Fund Market have signed a distribution agreement that will enable Kames to distribute 11 of its Dublin-registered sustainable equity, global equity, absolute return and fixed income funds on the Nasdaq platform, including Kames Global Sustainable Equity, making them available to investors in Sweden, Norway and Finland (Verdict). Barron’s suggests green investments can shield investors during market downturns, pointing out that two thirds of all sustainable funds in the United States finished in the top half of their respective categories during the S&P 7.2% slide at the beginning of the month (Barron’s). 2018 may be the year when divestment finally goes mainstream, Tim Pfefferle suggests, pointing to the $6 trillion in total value of full or partial divestment by institutions (but suggests caution) (CleanTechnica). Impact investor and executive chairman of Nordic Impact Anders H. Lier spoke to Wendy Williams about his hopes that people might be reconciled to technology through impact work despite the (additional) threats AI poses to jobs (ProBonoAustralia). ETFTrends looks at targeted Exchange-Traded Funds that allow investors to combine beliefs with investments, such as UBS’s recently launched InsightShares LGBT Employment Equality ETF (ETFTrends). 

Question of the Week

Which Nordic private equity manager upstart closed its first fund at SEK 4.5 billion, far exceeding its SEK 3.3 billion target, exactly one year ago?

Famous Last Words

“We have to change capitalism. This is really what’s at stake here. And frankly we need a new contract between companies, investors and governments.”BlackRock Vice Chair Philipp Hildebrand in Davos last month, suggesting why the key to beating climate change is changing the system itself (ClimateChangeNews).

Right. Happy weekend,

Your NordSIP team

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