Sweden is still the world’s most sustainable country, while the UK faces a stability threat due to the Brexit vote, and the refugee crisis is a major global risk, according to the latest RobecoSAM assessment.
Its biannual Country Sustainability Ranking (CSR) assesses the environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials of 62 countries – 22 from developed and 40 from emerging markets. It aims to find the key risk drivers for investors in government bonds issued by these countries along with potential threats to domestic company equities.
“The sustainability profile in many countries has come under increasing strain, partly as a result of persistent economic weakness, growing fiscal pressures, and – in particular – mounting political risks,” says Max Schieler, Senior Country Risk Specialist at RobecoSAM. “Among political risks, the expansion of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa and the ensuing refugee crisis have become a particular concern. These developments have of course not remained without ramifications for country and sovereign risks in general and currently show little sign of reversing anytime soon.”
Notable risers in the sustainability rankings since the last CSR update in October 2015 are Australia and Ireland, while Switzerland closed its gap with Sweden, which remains in the top spot for ESG scores. Among emerging markets, the best improvements were seen in Kazakhstan and Jamaica.
Notable fallers were perhaps not surprisingly Brazil and Venezuela, both of which are experiencing major political upheavals, though Qatar and Kuwait suffered the worst falls due to rising instability and corruption, and the sustainability scores for China and Indonesia also deteriorated. Nigeria remains bottom.
The prospect of a Brexit also figured in the analysis, though it has not yet affected the UK’s overall ranking as the world’s fourth most sustainable country. “As there is no precedent for such an event, the economic and financial impact is difficult to assess and any projection is therefore based on a high degree of speculation at this stage, in addition to the fact that some prognoses might also be politically biased,” says Schieler.
Please read this important information before proceeding further. It contains legal and regulatory notices relevant to the information contained on this website.
The information contained in the Website is NOT FOR RETAIL CLIENTS - The information contained in the Website is solely intended for professional investors, defined as investors which (1) qualify as professional clients within the meaning of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), (2) have requested to be treated as professional clients within the meaning of the MiFID or (3) are authorized to receive such information under any other applicable laws. The value of the investments may fluctuate. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested. Neither Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. nor any of its affiliates guarantees the performance or the future returns of any investments. If the currency in which the past performance is displayed differs from the currency of the country in which you reside, then you should be aware that due to exchange rate fluctuations the performance shown may increase or decrease if converted into your local currency.
In the UK, Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. (“ROBECO”) only markets its funds to institutional clients and professional investors. Private investors seeking information about ROBECO should visit our corporate website www.robeco.com or contact their financial adviser. ROBECO will not be liable for any damages or losses suffered by private investors accessing these areas.
In the UK, ROBECO Funds has marketing approval for the funds listed on this website, all of which are UCITS funds. ROBECO is authorized by the AFM and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details about the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available from us on request.
Many of the protections provided by the United Kingdom regulatory framework may not apply to investments in ROBECO Funds, including access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Financial Ombudsman Service. No representation, warranty or undertaking is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information on this website.
If you are not an institutional client or professional investor you should therefore not proceed. By proceeding please note that we will be treating you as a professional client for regulatory purposes and you agree to be bound by our terms and conditions.