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Why Every Investor Should Now Include ESG: deVere CEO

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Every investor needs exposure to environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments to build wealth over the long-term, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.

The observation from deVere Group’s Nigel Green, a long-term advocate of impactful investing, comes as it is revealed that global sustainable fund assets almost doubled in the six months through to September.

Global ESG assets are on track to exceed $53 trillion by 2025, according to Bloomberg Intelligence, representing more than a third of the $140.5 trillion in projected total assets under management.

Mr Green says: “In January 2020, we identified that ESG would be this decade’s ultimate investment megatrend.

“Of course, that was before the pandemic that has acted as a catalyst for the sustainable investing boom.

“The health of our planet and how it affects human health which, in turn, affects the way we all live, interact and do business, dramatically came to the fore.”

He continues: “Previously, ESG investments were often considered a ‘quirk’ or ‘nice to have.”

“But now we believe that they should be a part of everyone’s investment portfolio for several key reasons.

“First, they typically deliver a legitimate diversification tool – which is how investors can seize opportunities and mitigate risk, especially during periods of higher volatility.

“Second, funds investing in entities with robust ESG credentials have outperformed their benchmarks over recent years. From a risk management point of view, including these companies in your portfolio is, clearly, a sensible decision to take.

“Third, ESG represents a revolution of investment strategy itself. A seismic shift has occurred in corporate behaviour. How firms approach ESG factors and the value they place on them compared to other considerations has already changed forever.  The ESG themes are already embedded in the global economy as this is only set to grow in the years to come – and, of course, investors should embrace the concept of having early advantage.

“And fourth, the last 18 months have underscored how we have a moral obligation to back and fund entities that support the wellbeing of the planet and society”

In October, deVere announced that it will double its commitment to position $2 bn of assets under advisement into ESG investments.

This follows a similar announcement earlier this year when it said it would aim to have $1bn in socially responsible investment vehicles within five years.

As well as its commitment, deVere is one of 18 founding signatories of the UN-backed Net Zero initiative, the international alliance of finance powerhouses that will help accelerate the transition to a net-zero financial system. Its membership means it is committed to “aligning all relevant products and services to achieve net-zero greenhouse gases by 2050 and to set meaningful interim targets for 2025.

Other founding signatories include BDO, Bloomberg, Campbell Lutyens, Deloitte, EY, Grant Thornton, KPMG, The London Stock Exchange Group, Minerva Analytics, Moody’s, Morningstar, MSCI, PwC, SGX, Solactive, S&P Global and SSE.

Mr Green concludes: “The case for now having exposure to ESG in your investment portfolio is undeniable.

“We believe that a failure not to seek profits with purpose could negatively impact your long-term accumulation of wealth.”

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Investment

Nigerian Investors Petitions Kenya Courts to Release Funds Held in Several Bank Accounts

2,000 Nigerian investors demanding the release of Ksh 1.44 billion ($1.8million) held by Safaricom and four other banks in Kenya.

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A petition has been made by more than 2,000 Nigerian investors demanding the release of Ksh 1.44 billion ($1.8million) held by Safaricom and four other banks in Kenya.

These investors claim that they were duped billions of shillings by a sports betting platform (86FB) that used Nigerian and African Fintech company Flutterwave to process payments.

Citing Kenya’s anti-money laundering laws, these investors are demanding that the sum of $12 million is split from the Ksh 6.6 B ($55 M) that was frozen in July in 62 bank accounts at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Equity Bank, Ecobank, and UBA Bank, as well as in 19 Safaricom paybill numbers.

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) was granted permission to freeze Ksh 5.17 B (USD 49 M) in 29 GTB accounts, with the remaining funds held in accounts at Equity and Ecobank in Kenyan Shillings, US Dollars, Euros, and British Pounds.

The large sums are alleged to be the proceeds of theft, credit card fraud, and money laundering that were wired under the guise of payments for goods and services.

One of the investors who identified himself as Morris Ebitimi Joseph claimed that he and other investors had filed a new lawsuit in Nigeria to seek the return of their funds.

They argued that a portion of the money belonged to them and have opposed the attempt to forfeit it to the Kenyan government which they claimed were fraudulent proceeds.

In his words, “I believe that the issuance of an order compelling Guaranty Trust Bank, Equity Bank, and Ecobank to deposit the sums excluded in the bank account of our advocates, justice shall be served to the 2,468 interested parties who were swindled of their hard-earned money through the scheme”.

Morris claimed that the investors put money into the investment scheme on the promise of better returns from the betting business, but however, never materialized.

Before the payments stopped, according to them, everything was fine for about six months. He also shared that after conducting research, he came to the conclusion that the operation was questionable, and now wants to join the case and help the court resolve the issue.

The Nigerian contingent is requesting the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), which declared in July that Flutterwave is not licensed in Kenya, to ask that the court issue an order directing Access Bank, Safaricom, and United Bank of Africa to deposit the excluded amount in the account of his attorneys.

“The claim made by the applicant/intended interested party represents the interest of 2,468 persons, thus occasioning monumental public interest.

Failure to expeditiously determine whether the application is in like fashion constitutes substantive and irreparable injustice,” Joseph says. He contends that there may be more people with an interest in the funds in addition to the 2,468 people who are requesting an injunction.

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AFDB, Others Invest $618 Million in Nigeria’s Digital Programme

African Development Bank (AFDB), French Development Agency (FDA), and The Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) have invested the sum of $618 Million in Nigeria’s Digital and Creative Enterprises Programme.

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Akinwunmi AfDB

African Development Bank (AFDB), French Development Agency (FDA), and The Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) have invested the sum of $618 Million in Nigeria’s Digital and Creative Enterprises Programme.

President of the African Development Bank (AFDB), Mr. Akinwumni Adesina while speaking at Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum held in New York, disclosed that investment in the program would help in the establishment of 451 digital technology SMEs and 225 creative start-ups.

Adding that the enterprises would create 6.1 million jobs and add $6.4 billion to the Nigerian economy.

He said, “That is the power of international partnerships working for Nigeria. Investors must recognize this and invest.

“The future is not just digital, the future will be driven by digital revolution. Today, Nigeria has five of the seven unicorns in Africa and raised almost $1.4 billion of the total of four billion dollars raised by Fintech companies across Africa in 2021.

“When you think of financial services digital innovations, think Nigeria, with Flutterwave, OPay, Andela, and Interswitch holding the status of unicorn companies, worth at least one billion dollars each.”

Mr. Akinwunmi further stated that $540 million have been provided by the International Fund for Agricultural Development and ISDB to develop Special Agro-industrial processing zones to help unlock Nigeria’s agricultural potential.

Noting that the funds will boost food production and agribusiness value chains across Nigeria and make Nigeria more competitive.

He also called for increased international partnerships in Nigeria, adding that the bank had invested $44 billion in infrastructure in Africa over the past six years.

Furthermore, Mr. Adesina disclosed that the growth in Nigeria would depend on its ability to fix its infrastructure deficits.

His words, “The National Integrated Infrastructure Masterplan shows that Nigeria will need total financing of $759 billion to support infrastructure over a 23-year horizon (2020-2043).

“These covers tackling the crippling lack of energy to power the economy, including power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure, water and sanitation, and transport infrastructure.”

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Foreign Investors Boycott Nigeria Oil Sector; Capital Inflow Drops By 82%

Capital inflow into Nigeria’s oil sector has dropped by more than 82 percent in the second quarter of 2022. 

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Despite the increase in global oil prices, capital inflow into Nigeria’s oil sector has dropped by more than 82 percent in the second quarter of 2022. 

Investors King learnt that while other sectors such as baking and manufacturing contributed immensely to the country’s economy, oil and gas barely make an impact. 

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated that foreign capital inflow into the oil and gas sector accounts for 0.13 percent of fresh foreign investments into the Nigerian economy in Q2 2022, compared to other sectors like the banking and production sector contributing 42 percent and 15 percent respectively.

It is further revealed that the total value of foreign capital investment attracted by the petroleum industry in the second quarter of 2022 fell from $11.3 million in Q2 2021 to $1.93 million in Q2 2022.

Ola Alokolaro, a partner at Advocaat Law Practice (Energy and Infrastructure) disclosed that this is the lowest for Nigeria in 11 years.

He indicated further that the weak foreign investment in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector started in 2021.  

It is evident that foreign investors are boycotting Nigeria’s oil for other places. Recently, Italian oil giant Eni agreed to acquire two producing fields in Algeria for an undisclosed sum, including stakes in two major natural gas projects, as the company plans divestments away from Nigerian onshore assets.

A French multinational oil company, TotalEnergies has also announced plans to sell its stake in a oil joint venture in Nigeria and invest about $850 million in oil projects in Angola.

Nigeria’s oil production has been facing one of its most turbulent times. Widespread oil theft and poor patronage are some of the prevailing challenges. Investors King had earlier reported that for the first time in five years, Nigeria lost its crown as Africa’s largest oil producer to Angola. 

 

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