Why have ESG Emerging Market fixed income portfolios outperformed?

Historically investors have associated ESG investments with reduced performance and assume that increased demand for such assets means paying a premium for them or at least being less fussy about returns.

This is exacerbated by the current macro backdrop. In a fixed income friendly, low-default, low-yield, QE world, there are no real penalties associated with non-ESG status. Borrowing costs might be slightly higher but not enough to result in a business impairment and industries such as coal and oil are still required in the energy complex even if their future potential is increasingly capped.

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