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’Green’ Investments Not Just Good for the Environment but Good for the Pocket

In a recent article in the South China Morning Post, it was shown that in recent studies conducted by two major banks that ‘Green’ investments are not just about saving the planet – they’re about making more money.

The article suggested that investors that put their capital into so-called green investments are not doing it solely out a desire to help the planet, but as a serious alternative to traditional investments to make above average returns.

According to separate studies by two major international banks, green investments for financial gain are happening more and more, and rightly so. The main reason people invest is for profits, but if you can help the environment in the process all the better. “Globally, investors do not associate sustainable investing with a trade-off of financial returns. Fifty per cent of the investors surveyed expect sustainable investing to outperform financial investment,” said Amy Lo, chairman and head of Greater China at UBS Wealth Management.

“And of those who are already investing in sustainable investment, 93 per cent believe sustainable investing will outperform traditional investment.”

The study conducted by UBS has shown that globally 82 per cent of investors are of the opinion that sustainable investments will outperform or at least be on par with traditional investments.

The Swiss investment bank surveyed about 5,300 people with at least US$1 million in investable assets excluding property across 10 markets: Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore, Switzerland, the UAE, the UK, and the US. The survey was conducted between June and August 2018.

“Green bonds – bonds that are specifically targeting projects which are [aimed at promoting] a greener world – have over the past four to five years outperformed the wider index,” said Adrian Zuercher, regional head of asset allocation at UBS global wealth management CIO.

“In other words, investors are willing to pay a premium for these companies because there is better risk management, and that can translate into better performance.”

The data appears to back their thinking.

An HSBC survey of 1,731 companies and institutional investors worldwide, carried out in May and June, found financial returns and tax incentives were the main drivers of green investment.

“Investors are now making their decisions on whether to invest in a green bond based on commercial returns. This is a good indicator that investors are not purely making such investments for charity but they are really believing such investment can make money,” said Daniel Klier, HSBC’s group head of strategy and global head of sustainable finance, in an interview.

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