This paper aims to provide guidance to issuers of sovereign ESG bonds, with a focus on Emerging Market and Developing Economies (EMDEs). An overview of the ESG financing options available to sovereign issuers is followed by an analysis of the operational requirements and costs that the issuance of sovereign ESG bonds entails. While green bonds are the instruments used to describe the issuance process, the paper also covers alternative instruments, including social and sustainability-linked bonds to provide issuers and other stakeholders with a comprehensive view of the ESG bond marketplace.
Torsten Ehlers, Ulrike Elsenhuber, Kumar Jegarasasingam, and Eric Jondeau
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) scores are a key tool for asset managers in designing and implementing ESG investment strategies. They, however, amalgamate a broad range of fundamentally different factors, creating ambiguity for investors as to the underlying drivers of higher or lower ESG scores. We explore the feasibility and performance of more targeted investment strategies based on specific ESG categories, by deconstructing ESG scores into their granular components. First, we investigate the characteristics of the various categories underlying ESG scores. Not all types of ESG categories lend themselves to more focused strategies, which is related to both limits to ESG data disclosure and the fundamental challenge of translating qualitative characteristics into quantitative measures. Second, we consider an investment scheme based on the exclusion of firms with the lowest scores in a given category of interest. In most cases, this strategy allows investors to substantially improve the ESG category score, with a marginal impact on financial performance relative to a broad stock market benchmark. The exclusion results in regional and sectoral biases relative to the benchmark, which may be undesirable for some investors.We then implement a “best-in-class” strategy by excluding firms with the lowest category scores and reinvesting the proceeds in firms with the highest scores, maintaining the same regional and sectoral composition. This approach reduces the tracking error of the portfolio and slightly improves its risk-adjusted performance, while still yielding a large gain in the targeted ESG category score.
At the request of the authorities of Zambia, an interdepartmental (LEG/FAD/MCM/FIN) Governance Diagnostic Assessment (GDA) mission was conducted during January 14 – May 6, 2022.1 In line with the IMF’s 2018 Framework on Enhanced Fund Engagement on Governance,2 the diagnostic assessment focused on governance weaknesses and corruption vulnerabilities in macroeconomically critical priority areas of: (i) the anti-corruption and anti-money laundering; (ii) fiscal governance (e.g., public financial management, revenue administration, oversight of State Owned Enterprises, natural resource management, and procurement); (iii) enforcement of contract and protection of property rights; (iv) central bank governance and operations, and (vi) financial sector oversight.
Rohit Goel, Deepali Gautam, and Mr. Fabio M Natalucci
Sustainable finance has become a key focus area for global investors and policy makers. Last year proved to be a breakout year for emerging markets (EMs), with sustainable debt issuance in 2021 surging to almost $200 billion. This working paper, the first comprehensive study in the literature, analyzes the evoluiton of EM sustainable finance markets, including differences with advanced economies. The analysis shows how sustainable finance in EMs is growing fast not just in aggregate but importantly across many dimensions. The paper also identifies key development areas for EMs and policies to strengthen the resilience of sustainable finance markets.