News In Brief 19 June 2017


The BBC reported that initial findings from a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) review of care homes have revealed a number of serious problems in their operation, including a lack of transparency regarding fees, and contracts that give providers extraordinary rights including charging families for “extended periods after a resident has died”. Around 400,000 people in the UK live in care and nursing homes.


The United Nations Children’s Fund published a report – Building the Future: Children and the Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries – which concluded that 20% of children in high-income countries live in “relative income poverty”, while an average of “one in eight faces food insecurity”. That latter figure rises to one in five on average in the UK.


Sedco Capital – the Saudi Arabian asset manager which manages $1.8 billion and was the first Saudi asset manager to sign the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investing – said it has launched an investment strategy “combining environment-conscious and sharia-compliant principles.”


The Post reports that a new research report by Wood Mackenzie, the energy consultant, predicts that “multi-national energy companies could spend billions on renewable projects between now and 2035, as ‘the all-in returns for wind and solar stack up against’ higher-cost oil and gas plays, exploration projects and acquisitions.” According to the research, slowing demand for oil and forecasts of rapid growth in renewables posed both a threat and an opportunity that the oil majors cannot afford to ignore. According to a new study by BP demand for coal globally fell in 2016 by 1.7%, the second year in a row in which demand has dropped.


The investment trust Residential Secure Income, which is focused exclusively on the social housing market, is “expected to launch plans for a £300 million stock listing”. Residential Secure Income has been set up as a subsidiary of TradeRisks, which is long-standing adviser to housing associations and local authorities and has already arranged funding for the sector worth £10 billion over the past 16 years. It is, according to the newspaper, planning to list shares at 100p each and aims to generate returns of over 8% in order to generate a dividend yield of 5%.


The Social Stock Exchange member Thrive Renewables was announced as the winner of the British Renewable Energy Association award in the ‘Financial Leadership’ category. In 2016/2017 Thrive raised a total of £13 million for renewable energy projects through innovative online crowdfunding and was the first bond offer to be available through the Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA).


PME, the €45 billion pension fund for the Dutch metal and electronic engineering sectors, is to divest from tobacco, reduce carbon emissions by a quarter, and invest 10% in impact investments. PME is the third Dutch pension fund to base its responsible investment policy on concrete goals, following ABP and PFZW.



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