Daily ESG Briefing: Most investors expect to shift ESG into passive by 2025, says survey

The latest developments in sustainable finance

More than half of institutional investors believe most of their ESG investments will be held in passive products by 2025, according to research by Invesco. Analysis of EMEA market flow data by the investment manager shows that ETFs incorporating ESG criteria have grown rapidly over the last five years, up from $4bn in June 2015 to around $48bn at the end of June 2020. More than two-thirds of institutional investors believe that COVID-19 will accelerate the development and take up of ESG investments further over the next two years.

US gun maker American Outdoor Brands – formerly known as Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation – has failed in its attempt to duck a shareholder proposal calling on it to adopt a human rights policy that aligns with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The US securities regulator did not agree that the proposal, filed by US faith investors, was impermissibly vague, had been substantially implemented, or fell foul of micromanagement rules.

Federated Hermes has set up an office in Madrid, Spain. Last year, the investment house established offices in Germany and Denmark as part of its European expansion and post-Brexit strategy. 

Mining, metals and petroleum company BHP has cut its dividend by 29%, in a move that analysts at Link say will save the firm £800m in 2020. Kit Atkinson, Head of Capital Markets for Corporate Markets EMEA at Link, said prices for BHP's main metals have held up, but profits were hit by the oil slump and falling coal prices. 

Chaparral Energy Inc has filed for bankruptcy for a second time, becoming the latest US energy sector casualty in recent months due to COVID-19. The shale driller had approximately $421m of debt outstanding at the end of 2019 and will restructure its balance sheet by equitising $300m of unsecured debt.