Time To Take The ‘E’ Out Of ESG Investing
Kanebridge News
    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,480,538 (+0.01%)       Melbourne $960,899 (-0.26%)       Brisbane $805,943 (+0.49%)       Adelaide $760,890 (+0.51%)       Perth $651,708 (+0.03%)       Hobart $728,895 (+0.57%)       Darwin $613,579 (0%)       Canberra $946,216 (+2.14%)       National $956,035 (+0.37%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $696,616 (-0.38%)       Melbourne $470,588 (+0.14%)       Brisbane $450,511 (+0.19%)       Adelaide $370,041 (+0.13%)       Perth $363,377 (-0.48%)       Hobart $568,887 (+1.25%)       Darwin $342,547 (-0.28%)       Canberra $488,335 (+0.42%)       National $491,956 (+0.17%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 7,426 (+91)       Melbourne 10,303 (-71)       Brisbane 8,928 (-39)       Adelaide 2,407 (+20)       Perth 7,995 (-258)       Hobart 874 (-2)       Darwin 238 (-2)       Canberra 758 (-3)       National 38,557 (-264)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 6,833 (-17)       Melbourne 6,618 (-36)       Brisbane 1,828 (-2)       Adelaide 460 (-11)       Perth 2,177 (-9)       Hobart 126 (-3)       Darwin 336 (+5)       Canberra 425 (+7)       National 18,641 (-66)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $680 (+$15)       Melbourne $500 ($0)       Brisbane $560 (-$10)       Adelaide $520 (-$10)       Perth $550 ($0)       Hobart $560 (-$5)       Darwin $700 (+$5)       Canberra $700 (-$20)       National $606 (-$3)                    UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $600 ($0)       Melbourne $450 ($0)       Brisbane $498 ($0)       Adelaide $420 (-$8)       Perth $480 ($0)       Hobart $485 (+$13)       Darwin $550 ($0)       Canberra $550 (-$10)       National $514 (-$1)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 6,843 (+487)       Melbourne 6,880 (+741)       Brisbane 4,325 (+498)       Adelaide 1,251 (+157)       Perth 1,748 (+277)       Hobart 262 (+34)       Darwin 133 (+14)       Canberra 709 (+61)       National 21,516 (+2,269)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,300 (+770)       Melbourne 5,973 (+745)       Brisbane 1,753 (+273)       Adelaide 410 (+74)       Perth 731 (+171)       Hobart 119 (+13)       Darwin 249 (+21)       Canberra 641 (+63)       National 17,293 (+2,130)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 2.34% (↑)      Melbourne 2.69% (↑)        Brisbane 3.58% (↓)       Adelaide 3.60% (↓)     Perth 4.40% (↑)        Hobart 4.04% (↓)     Darwin 5.81% (↑)        Canberra 3.76% (↓)       National 3.30% (↓)            UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 4.47% (↑)        Melbourne 5.00% (↓)       Brisbane 5.88% (↓)       Adelaide 6.19% (↓)     Perth 7.21% (↑)      Hobart 4.59% (↑)      Darwin 8.41% (↑)        Canberra 5.89% (↓)       National 5.43% (↓)            HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 1.6% (↑)      Melbourne 1.8% (↑)      Brisbane 0.5% (↑)      Adelaide 0.5% (↑)      Perth 1.0% (↑)      Hobart 0.9% (↑)      Darwin 1.1% (↑)      Canberra 0.5% (↑)      National 1.2% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 2.3% (↑)      Melbourne 2.8% (↑)      Brisbane 1.2% (↑)      Adelaide 0.7% (↑)      Perth 1.3% (↑)      Hobart 1.4% (↑)      Darwin 1.3% (↑)      Canberra 1.3% (↑)      National 2.1% (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND       Sydney 35.4 (↑)      Melbourne 35.9 (↑)      Brisbane 42.8 (↑)      Adelaide 34.8 (↑)      Perth 43.1 (↑)      Hobart 37.2 (↑)      Darwin 49.3 (↑)      Canberra 38.3 (↑)      National 39.6 (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND       Sydney 39.7 (↑)      Melbourne 36.4 (↑)      Brisbane 43.7 (↑)      Adelaide 33.8 (↑)      Perth 46.2 (↑)      Hobart 48.9 (↑)        Darwin 45.9 (↓)     Canberra 33.7 (↑)      National 41.0 (↑)            
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Time To Take The ‘E’ Out Of ESG Investing

The decision by the boss of DWS to step down is a wake-up call to the investment industry as environmental claims come under growing scrutiny.

By ROCHELLE TOPLENSKY
Thu, Jun 2, 2022 11:32amGrey Clock 2 min

The days when selling ESG funds was an easy marketing ploy for fund managers are over.

Investing based on environmental, social and governance criteria has been a hugely popular new market for full-service asset managers struggling to compete with low-fee tracker funds. While this type of ethical investing can genuinely mean different things to different people, scrutiny of the environmental part of the claims is rising.

On Wednesday, Asoka Woehrmann, chief executive of DWS, Deutsche Bank’s minority-listed asset-management subsidiary, said he would resign after its coming annual general meeting. The news came the day after German authorities raided the offices of both companies amid allegations that DWS made misleading claims about ESG funds. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and federal prosecutors also have ongoing probes.

ESG investing has been a boon for the industry. Fund managers have often promised investors higher returns while doing good with their money. However, ESG is a slippery concept, without widely accepted definitions, criteria and metrics. Infamously, a single company’s ESG rating can vary widely between credible credit-rating firms.

That variance isn’t unreasonable. There are many ways to combine the three criteria into one score, and for any single one there can be honest disagreement about what good or bad actually looks like. For example, some might rank Shell highly on “E” because it has a plan to decarbonize its business, or poorly because it sells oil and plans to sell natural gas for years.

However, the scope for variance in environmental ratings is starting to narrow. European officials have set new rules for different categories of sustainable investments and are working on definitions of what is and isn’t green. The SEC is also working on its own set of rules. While the standards increase the compliance burden on fund managers, they should also help ensure investors are getting what they were promised, rather than just a lot of hot air.

Concerns about greenwashing—in which reality falls short of green claims—are widespread and recent events are only fanning the flames. The SEC recently fined Bank of New York Mellon $1.5 million for misleading claims about ESG funds. DWS reported far lower “ESG assets” in its most recent annual report than “ESG integrated” assets in the prior year. A whistleblower alleged last year that its disclosure was misleading. It will now be up to a new boss to draw a thicker line under the affair.

A speech last month entitled “Why investors need not worry about climate risk” from the head of responsible investment at HSBC’s Asset Management arm, in which he argued that the financial effects of climate change would be “de minimis,” only reinforced concerns that inside thinking often doesn’t match the marketing. The bank’s executives were quick to distance themselves from the now-suspended employee’s comments.

The continuing fallout at DWS is a warning to other asset managers to stand up or scale back green claims. More broadly, the tighter rules around what qualifies as environmentally friendly, even as social and governance criteria remain less well-defined, could mean it is time to take the “E” out of ESG investing—if not retire the grouping altogether. It never helped investors, and now it isn’t much use for fund managers either.

Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: June 1, 2022.

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Mortgage holders should brace themselves for more pain as the Reserve Bank of Australia board prepares to meet tomorrow for the first time this year.

Most economists and the major banks are predicting a rise of 25 basis points will be announced, although the Commonwealth Bank suggests that the RBA may take the unusual step of a 40 basis point rise to bring the interest rate up to a more conventional 3.5 percent. This would allow the RBA to step back from further rate rises for the next few months as it assesses the impact of tightening monetary policy on the economy.

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