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Economy

The Importance of Financing a Sustainable Future

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Sustainable Energy Project

By Sunil Kaushal

While climate change may have taken a back seat in a news cycle dominated by COVID-19, war and the cost-of-living crisis, the risks and threats associated with our warming planet remain the biggest long-term threat to our combined economic future.

Banks and financial institutions will be critical to managing that risk this includes financing of sustainable infrastructure, supporting transition and investing in green innovation. In fact, the banking industry has a responsibility to bridge top-down and bottom-up approaches to net-zero and help the public and private sectors realise the vast opportunities the energy transition and the move to sustainable infrastructure promises.

We can do that by providing capital to finance the investment in renewables, climate adaptation technologies and the transition to a ‘circular economy’ which encourages sustainable use of resources.

According to EY, financial institutions recognise that the transition to net zero will involve more than investments and underwriting for “green” assets and businesses such as renewables and electric vehicles. To achieve net zero across the whole economy, legacy carbon-intensive assets and companies will require financing to help them transition to a cleaner future.

For businesses, this means a fundamental change to operations, and that, in turn, requires capital. Insurers, lenders and investors will play a crucial role in making that capital available and in incentivising and supporting their clients and investees as they make their transitions.1

While stimulating growth through investment in roads, buildings and power supplies isn’t a new strategy, now it offers an opportunity to redefine the traditional playbook and focus on investing and financing sustainability for the longer term.

Creating sustainable and climate-friendly infrastructure will, however, require finance that is fit for the future. There is a growing concern, for example, around stranded asset risk – particularly for long-term investments such as infrastructure. Infrastructure projects need to consider risks 10 years and beyond into the future, many of which may not be immediately apparent. These risks include rising sea levels, increasing temperatures, drought, and coastal erosion. There are also financial and economic risks associated with making investments outside an ESG framework, this includes changes to regulatory settings that may disadvantage or penalise these investments.

Projects that are climate adapted from the outset reduce some of these risks and are more likely to stand the test of time, so banks will need to take into account the potential climate risks over the lifespan of the project to ensure resilience and protect investments.

Sustainable infrastructure projects, however, are traditionally more difficult to make bankable. With a bit of thinking, though, there are usually profitable solutions. For example, in a renewable energy plant, you have clear cash flows linked to the price of generated energy or for an energy efficiency improvement project, you have energy savings which can be translated into cost savings, and they can repay the financing.

At Standard Chartered, we are committed to playing our part in supporting sustainable projects in the region. We take a firm stand in accelerating to net zero by helping emerging markets in our footprint reduce carbon emissions as fast as possible and without slowing development, putting the world on a sustainable path to net zero by 2050.

Sustainability has long been a core part of our strategy, and we have committed USD40 billion of project financing services for sustainable infrastructure and USD35 billion of services to renewables and clean-tech projects by the end of 2024. We have also committed to catalysing $300 billion in sustainable investments by 2030. The projects we finance will trade and growth and contribute to a better quality of life through sustainable development.

The need for action from finance providers is to not only decarbonise their own balance sheets but also to help businesses in the real economy move towards a sustainable future. A successful net-zero transition must be just, leaving no nation, region or community behind and, despite the hurdles, action needs to be swift. To meet the 2050 goal, we must act now, and we must act together: companies, consumers, governments, regulators and the finance industry must collaborate to develop sustainable solutions, technologies and infrastructure.

Sunil Kaushal is the CEO of Standard Chartered Africa and Middle East (AME)

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Economy

A Thoughtful Approach to Wealth Management

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wealth management

By FBNQuest

Across the world, as baby boomers (aged 58-76) near and enter retirement, the attendant transfer of wealth between generations is necessitating a thoughtful approach to wealth management, instigated by common storylines such as this:

“I’m 35 years old and inherited $450,000 this year when my father passed away. I used part of the funds to buy a flat in old Ikoyi, and with the help of a financial advisor, invested the rest ($250,000) in a retirement plan.

“We set a budget so that the interest from the leftover principal could help pay my mortgage. I’m not supposed to touch the investment account…right?”

The coronavirus pandemic has also brought on triple threats to lives, livelihoods, and financial markets, causing individuals and businesses to pause and think about their financial priorities and legacy.

On the minds of wealth managers, therefore, will be a myriad of issues, including:

    Devising new ways of segmenting and serving clients across the wealth spectrum.

    Creating new and more efficient distribution channels by adopting new and enhanced technologies.

    Achieving sustainable and inclusive growth for clients.

    The fact that wealth and health needs will merge, leads to goal-based wealth platforms.

Africa: Wealth Rankings (by Country)

Where in Africa do the well-to-do reside and in what numbers? The recently released Africa Wealth Report 2022 shows that there are currently 136,000 High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) living on the continent, along with 5,110 multi-millionaires, 305 centi-millionaires and 21 billionaires. It also illustrates that the total private wealth in Africa currently stands at $2.1trn, an amount that is expected to rise by 38% to $3trn in the next decade.

The Future of Wealth Management

The impact of COVID-19 on wealth management organisations and investors is expected to drive both groups to position themselves to thrive in the new normal. For them, this can mean considering several of the following actions as they seek opportunity amidst uncertainty.

Millennials and the ‘Great Wealth Transfer’: Many young people are in line to become extremely wealthy, in what is referred to as The Great Wealth Transfer. Wealth is expected to gradually change hands from one generation to the next before the year 2030.

Without knowledge of money management, saving for the future and smart investing, Millennials could jeopardise their futures. Financial literacy tools will come into play in reinforcing areas of potential strength, such as Logic vs. Emotion (understanding how to manage money based on the risk and potential return); Frugality vs. Extravagance (adopting delayed gratification); and Saving vs. Spending (think retirement accounts, emergency funds).

Younger investors also tend to feel less confident about how to reach their investment goals, which can lead to cautious investing – an irony, as investors with a longer time frame should ideally have the latitude to take more risk.

AI, Machine Learning: Technology such as Artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to make it possible to do far more in less time, and with fewer resources, while Machine learning can help wealth managers recognise patterns, anticipate future events, and create rules – think client calculation engines, modelling and simulation, and analytics. Robo-advising, the trusted AI-driven, virtual wealth management service, will resonate strongly with the tech-savvy Millennial generation and is essential for future wealth management industry growth.

Human and Digital Hybrids: Millennials are currently between the ages of 25 and 40.  This is an extensive range. Some of them are definitely keen on self-service, but there is also an appreciable number of affluent millennials who are on the verge of making really complex decisions when they will need human interaction to add real value, through strategic planning and advice. For this group, the key is to not only take advantage of the digital space but also to intersperse it with human interactions – a hybrid scenario.

Transformational Web Delivery via Mobile: Following the initial push to move services online, wealth managers are now cementing a second stage, with a particular focus on ubiquity over-mobile. Websites will deliver an even wider range of services where clients are able to view their investments and transactions, invest in Mutual Funds directly, and place orders to purchase or sell shares, regardless of their location, and while on the go. They are also able to access research reports and insightful market data.

In conclusion

The Planning Effect

Uncertainty should not be a reason to put your future on hold or hamper your ability to grow your wealth and keep more of what you earn. Whether you seek effective funds management, long-term planning, or investment strategy, an experienced wealth management professional can help you develop a personalised plan by carefully assessing your investment preferences and risk tolerance.

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Economy

CitiTrust Lifts Over-the-Counter Bourse by 0.05%

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Cititrust

By Adedapo Adesanya

CitiTrust Holdings Plc played the central role in lifting the National Association of Securities Dealer (NASD) Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange by 0.05 per cent on Thursday, August 11.

This raised the NASD market capitalisation by N550 million yesterday to N1.007 trillion from the previous day’s N1.006 trillion as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) went up by 0.41 points to wrap the session at 765.28 points compared with 764.87 points of the previous session.

On Thursday, the stock price of CitiTrust Holdings Plc rose by 55 Kobo to N11.90 per share from the N11.35 per share it was sold in the Wednesday session.

A look at the trading activity indicated that there was an 86.5 per cent increase in the volume of securities traded at the bourse yesterday to 111,021 units from the previous trading day’s 59,538 units.

However, the value of shares transacted by market participants went down by 41.7 per cent to N2.7 million from N4.6 million just as the number of trades reduced by 43.8 per cent to nine deals from the 16 deals executed a day earlier.

AG Mortgage Bank Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with the sale of 2.3 billion units worth N1.2 billion, (Central Securities Clearing System) CSCS Plc stood in second place with the sale of 686.5 million units worth N14.2 billion, while Food Concepts Plc was in third place with the sale of 147.8 million units valued at N128.4 million.

Also, CSCS Plc was the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 686.5 million units valued at N14.2 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with the sale of 11.1 million units worth N3.3 billion, while FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc in third place has transacted 13.9 million units valued at N1.7 billion.

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Economy

Value of Naira Falls at P2P, I&E, Parallel Market as Forex Scarcity Worsens

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devalue naira

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira further weakened against the United States Dollar in the various segments of the foreign exchange (forex) as the scarcity of hard currencies is getting worse, putting pressure on the local currency.

In the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment, the Nigerian currency was battered by the Dollar by N6 or 0.87 per cent to settle at N696/$1 versus the previous day’s value of N690/$1 and in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, the domestic currency fell by N1.50 or 0.29 per cent to trade at N430.25/$1 in contrast to Wednesday’s value of N428.75/$1 as the turnover for the session stood at $58.37 million.

Also, in the parallel market, the Naira depreciated by N8 or N1.19 per cent to quote at N680/$1 compared with the previous day’s value of N672/$1 and in the interbank segment, the domestic currency lost N5.51 against the Pound Sterling to sell for N513.10/£1 in contrast to N507.59£1 and against the Euro, the Nigerian currency went down by N4.7 to close at N433.78/€1 versus the N429.08/€1 it was sold a day earlier.

In the cryptocurrency market, the bears maintained their grip as nine of the 10 tokens tracked by Business Post pointed south, with Solana (SOL) losing 4.1 per cent to sell at $42.94.

Cardano (ADA) recorded a 2.9 per cent fall to sell at $0.5288, Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 2.9 per cent depreciation to trade at $323.25, TerraClassicUSD (USTC) retreated by 2.7 per cent to quote at $0.0292, Bitcoin (BTC) fell by 2.5 per cent to sell at $23,939.78, Ripple (XRP) recorded a 1.2 per cent loss to trade at $0.3769, Dogecoin (DOGE) depreciated by 1.7 per cent to trade at $0.0708, Litecoin (LTC) lost 0.9 per cent to settle at $61.68, while Ethereum (ETH) declined by 0.1 per cent to sell at $1,888.23.

However, the value of the US Dollar Tether (USDT) remained unchanged yesterday at $1.00.

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