With, oh, say, Gilligan’s Island in its crosshairs, it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for proponents of investment strategies associated with environmental, social and governance data, according to law.com.
In fact, reems have been put to the old laptop revolving how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine culminated in geopolitical questions related to why Russia received ESG focused funds to begin with. Then what happened? Markets scram south and, in the process, a plethora of large ESG funds got hammered because, stemming from their massive holdings in tech stocks that took a beating, they registered losses worse than those absorbed by benchmarks.
McKinsey & Co. consultants, in a new paper, “Does ESG Really Matter—and Why,” go through a plethora of reasons ESG, of late, drew heavy duty criticism. At the end of day, the current turbulence surrounding its specific components aside. they concluded the underpinnings of ESGs and the adherence of “social licenser to them, way down the road, still will be integral to companies.
Meantime, mark the calendar, because a comeback’s on the docket. The Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit – or ESGs 2022 – recently proclaimed that, in the upcoming event, Riot Games will be a Platinum Exhibitor, according to ungeek.ph.
The event will take place Oct. 28-30 at the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City.
Riot Games, of course, is world renowned for delivering gamers the largest, most played esports titles. Eventually, it spawned a gaggle of related media.
Last week, Charles Schwab announced the upcoming launch of the Schwab Municipal Bond ETF (SCMB). The ETF, which is expected to begin trading on October 12, will trade on the NYSE Arca. SCMB will have an expense ratio of only 0.03%, which will be much lower than comparable funds. The ETF will provide access to the broad U.S. investment grade, tax-exempt bond market. The fund’s goal is to track the total return of the ICE AMT-Free Core U.S. National Municipal Index, which measures the performance of the U.S. AMT-free municipal bond market. SCMB seeks to provide income exempt from federal taxes and is not subject to the federal alternative minimum tax. The ETF will have a high credit quality profile, investing only in investment-grade rated securities. John Sturiale, Head of Product Management and Innovation, Schwab Asset Management, stated, “As bond yields have risen, fixed income investing is more attractive than it has been in years, making this an opportune moment to introduce a new choice for investors seeking a low-cost, straightforward approach to income, diversification and risk management in their portfolios.”
Finsum: Charles Schwab is launching an ultra-low-cost Municipal bond ETF targeting investment-grade securities.
Lingering doubts over escalation inflation and the response of the Fed aside, longer duration US Treasuries and investment grade corporate debt ETFS are the cat’s meow among European investors, according to etf.com.
As of the end of July, in Europe, fixed income ETFs attracted more than $4.2bn over the past three months, according to data from Bloomberg Intelligence.
Meantime, Fitch Ratings reported that, in all likelihood, U.S. insurers will continue, unabated, to up their fixed income exchange-traded fund holdings, according to pioonline.com.
Since last December – when new guidelines kicked in in The Big Apple -- Fitch indicated it has rated 10 such ETFs. It eased the way for insurers to hang onto shares of fixed income ETFs. Until Jan. 1, 2027, shares of an ETF, for the purpose of a domestic insurer’s risk based capital report, on the condition the ETF satisfies certain criteria, in a regulation adopted by the New York State Department of Financial Services. It became effective Dec. 15.
Invesco, which is the fourth-largest U.S. ETF firm based on total assets, recently filed for four actively managed fixed-income ETFs. The fund firm is currently best known for its index-based funds and custom index strategies. However, the company is looking to branch out by adding actively managed fixed income to its stable. In a series of regulatory filings, the firm filed for four ETFs, including the Invesco High Yield Select ETF, the Invesco Municipal Strategic Income ETF, the Invesco Short Duration Bond ETF, and the Invesco CLO Floating Rate Note ETF. The Invesco High Yield Select ETF will be run by a team of managers led by Niklas Nordenfelt who currently leads Invesco’s High Yield fixed income team and recently took over the Invesco High Yield mutual fund. The Invesco Municipal Strategic Income ETF will invest 50%–65% of its assets in low- to medium-quality municipal securities, which the company defines as bonds rated BBB. The Invesco Short Duration Bond ETF will utilize the Bloomberg 1-3 Year Government/Credit Index as a reference in designing the portfolio. The Invesco CLO Floating Rate Note ETF will primarily invest in collateralized loan obligations that have limited interest rate sensitivity and strong credit profiles.
Finsum:Invesco is looking to expand its ETF product line with the registration of four actively managed bond ETFs.
While rate hikes appear to be hurting stock and bond prices this year, the rise in yields has made short-term bond ETFs more attractive to yield-seeking investors. As the Fed continues to lift its benchmark federal funds rate to target inflation, bond rates have followed suit. This has been especially true for short-term bonds. In fact, short-term rates are even yielding more than longer-term rates in some cases. For example, the two-year Treasury note had a recent yield of 4%, which was higher than the 10-year Treasury note, with a yield of 3.58%. Plus, investors in short-term bonds are taking on less interest rate risk while getting paid more in interest. If rates continue to rise, bonds with shorter maturities are expected to fall less in price than longer-term bonds. That makes short-term bond ETFs an attractive option for income investors. For instance, the iShares Short Treasury Bond ETF (SHV), which holds Treasuries with maturities of less than a year, has a 30-Day SEC yield of 2.69%, while its price performance on the year is essentially flat.
Finsum:The Fed’s current interest rate policy has resulted in higher yields and less risk for short-term bond ETFs.
AllianceBernstein recently announced the launch of its first set of active exchange-traded funds. The funds, which trade on the NYSE, include the AB Ultra-Short Income ETF (YEAR) and the AB Tax-Aware Short Duration Municipal ETF (TAFI). YEAR is an actively managed ETF that aims to deliver higher levels of yield relative to cash or cash-like investments while aiming for capital preservation in all market cycles. TAFI is an actively managed municipal bond strategy that offers municipal bond investors a distinct complement to their core allocations providing the opportunity to help maximize after-tax income and returns using shorter maturity bonds and opportunistic exposure to treasuries and taxable bonds. The launch comes only seven months after the firm announced plans to build a global ETF business under Noel Archard, who joined the company in February as global head of ETFs and portfolio solutions. Archard commented on the launch, "Today's ETF launch is an exciting achievement for our firm. ETFs have evolved into an important execution tool across asset classes, and amidst the recent market volatility, we feel it is critical to offer our clients diversity and efficiency.”
Finsum:AllianceBernstein launched two active fixed ETFs as part of its plans to build a global ETF business.