Demand for the EU's Social Bond deal was strong as ESG funds scramble to find qualifying assets, but just how much ESG is enough? Has ESG got overly Woke?
The European Union heads up the most popular list this morning. It garnered over €96 bln of orders for its' latest Social Bond issue, selling €13 bln of 5 and 25 year bonds which investors snapped up….. Why? Because zero coupon bonds are such great value? Or they are scrambling to fill their ESG bond buckets? Or because they believe rates are staying low and they've watched the ECB step up its bond buying to keep rates in check?
France, Italy, and even the UK, have been selling Green bonds – over €500 bln this year – promising to invest in good things like solving climate change and making the world a nicer place. The deals have been finding insatiable demand from green-asset starved investors. A syndicate manager from HSBC is quoted on BBerg: "ESG is increasingly a part of investors overall decision-making process for any security and there is a very strong focus on that topic".
Blah, blah, blabbity blah blah… She said all the right things to get reported by a financial media obsessed with the woke imperative of being seen to be say all the right things about how important ESG is…
The reality is very different. The world is not a particularly nice place and saying ESG is good changes little. Words are words. Actions are actions.
She-Who-Is-Mrs-Blain and I are trying to do our bit to make things better, taking the view "a journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step.." Since we are committed environmentalists (well, sort of), love to do social good, and are currently rebuilding Blain Manor, we thought this would be the right time to launch our own Green-Blain Funding Programme.