Social bonds: Fools rush in where social angels fear to tread

Striking the right balance between risk and reward

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James Hay and Pietro Sette of MainStreet Partners
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James Hay and Pietro Sette of MainStreet Partners

Coronavirus has presented vast challenges for many industries, but sustainable finance appears to be booming.

Bonds issued by companies seeking to use the proceeds to counter the devastating effects of the pandemic are set to push ESG debt to a record high. According to Dealogic, as at 30 October 2020, year-to-date issuance of green, social and sustainability bonds was $371bn which surpassed FY2019 issuance of $278bn. Standout examples include Unédic, the French unemployment insurance agency, whose five social bonds worth a total of €16bn aimed to fund financial support and job retention schemes for workers. 70% of UK financial services professionals 'not confident' firm conducts ethical f...

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