The Contrarian Investor: Food - the new ESG battleground?

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The Contrarian Investor: Food - the new ESG battleground?

There is something of a yawning disconnect between investment rhetoric and portfolio reality when it comes to the knotty issues of ethical and sustainable investing. Lots of financial professionals nod wisely about the importance of ESG factors, and then proceed to do absolutely nothing about them.

But the recent plight of bank stocks should alert us to the reality that changing attitudes towards corporate governance and best behaviour does have an impact on share prices, especially once the government and state lawyers get involved.  Only this week, for instance, Deutsche Bank's shares closed even lower, after falling from a 12-month high. Its woes are, of course, multi-faceted but huge fines ($14bn) are a crucial part of the narrative. Slightly undesirable business practices might not panic some investors but fines are increasingly turning into the new dynamic for ESG. BP's sh...

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