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Manulife Investment Management demonstrates significant progress in its annual sustainable and responsible investing report – Yahoo Finance

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BOSTON, TORONTO and LONDON, Nov. 18, 2021 /CNW/ – Manulife Investment Management released today its third annual sustainable and responsible investing report for its institutional investment management business. The report demonstrates its ongoing commitment to sustainability, as interest in this area continues to grow across the world.

Manulife Investment Management Logo (CNW Group/Manulife Investment Management)

Manulife Investment Management Logo (CNW Group/Manulife Investment Management)

The report documents significant progress across three key areas of the firm’s sustainability efforts: ESG integration, active stewardship, and global collaboration to address systemic sustainability issues.

Paul Lorentz, President and CEO at Manulife Investment Management, said: “Our efforts support our clients’ aims and help bolster the environmental and social foundations that enable the global economy to function. Our priority is to continue to expand our sustainable investing capabilities across public and private asset classes to meet our clients’ evolving needs.”

Advancements in sustainability

  • In 2020, Manulife Investment Management had 1,122 engagement interactions with 985 equity and fixed-income issuers globally and launched a proxy voting dashboard to disclose proxy voting records.1 There was a conscious shift in focus from just volume of conversations to outcomes-based engagements to address material sustainability risks.

  • Manulife Investment Management invested further in its sustainability teams, which have grown from 16 to 25 sustainability professionals globally as of 12/31/20.

  • The firm was one of only 20 investment managers included in the 2020 PRI Leaders’ Group in recognition of advanced efforts in climate reporting.

  • Building on its advanced ESG integration efforts across asset classes, the firm expanded its sustainability offering through the launch of a number of strategies with specific sustainability objectives and made a significant impact-first timberland investment that will primarily be used for carbon sequestration and storage.2

Brian Kernohan, chief sustainability officer, private markets, comments: “Our purpose as an asset manager is to deliver strong risk-adjusted investment returns for our clients over time while having a positive impact on the environment and society through strong stewardship. We believe a commitment to sustainable investing is necessary for investors to be successful.”

Peter Mennie, global head of ESG integration and research, public markets, concludes: “We are proud of our contributions in pursuit of more sustainable business practices across the globe. We believe integrating all elements of sustainable investing into our conversations with company management, and using measurable data points to demonstrate progress, can help mitigate the impact of material sustainability risks in our portfolios and is aligned with the best interests of our clients over the long term.”

Since becoming a PRI signatory in 2015, Manulife Investment Management has enhanced its sustainability practices across asset classes and deepened its involvement in initiatives addressing global sustainability challenges.

Click here for more information about the Manulife Investment Management 2020 sustainable and responsible investing report.

Manulife Investment Management

Manulife Investment Management is the global brand for the global wealth and asset management segment of Manulife Financial Corporation. We draw on more than a century of financial stewardship and the full resources of our parent company to serve individuals, institutions, and retirement plan members worldwide. Headquartered in Toronto, our leading capabilities in public and private markets are strengthened by an investment footprint that spans 18 geographies. We complement these capabilities by providing access to a network of unaffiliated asset managers from around the world. We’re committed to investing responsibly across our businesses. We develop innovative global frameworks for sustainable investing, collaboratively engage with companies in our securities portfolios, and maintain a high standard of stewardship where we own and operate assets, and we believe in supporting financial well-being through our workplace retirement plans. Today, plan sponsors around the world rely on our retirement plan administration and investment expertise to help their employees plan for, save for, and live a better retirement.

As of September 30, 2021, Manulife Investment Management’s assets under management and administration, including assets managed for Manulife’s other segments, totaled CAD $1.1 trillion (US $835 billion). Not all offerings are available in all jurisdictions. For additional information, please visit manulifeim.com.

1. The full record is not publicly available. More information is available on request. Proxy voting activities are completed for public markets investments managed by Manulife Investment Management public markets.

2. We look to incorporate material ESG considerations throughout the stages of our investment and asset ownership lifecycles, taking into account the characteristics of the asset class and investment process in question, as well as industry and geography, among other factors. Each investment team operates in different markets and with different nuances to its approach to investing. Accordingly, each team integrates ESG factors into its investment process in a manner that best aligns with its investment approach.

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Metaverse won’t be turning point in cryptocurrency adoption, investor Chesnais says

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The growth of online virtual worlds will help advance the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies for payment transactions but it won’t be a game-changer, according to Frédéric Chesnais, chief executive of French fintech company Crypto Blockchain Industries.

In blockchain-based 3D virtual worlds, often referred to as metaverses, users can purchase and trade virtual assets and services using cryptocurrencies. Some analysts have argued the growing popularity of metaverses will drive an explosion in digital tokens.

“I think it will be important but I don’t think this is the key turning point,” Chesnais, who was until earlier this year the CEO of videogame company Atari told a Reuters NEXT panel on Thursday.

Interest in the metaverse exploded after Facebook said in October it was changing its name to Meta and would be focusing on building its own virtual world. Other big companies and smaller fintechs are also rushing to develop digital worlds.

Crypto Blockchain Industries invests in blockchain projects and is developing AlphaVerse, a blockchain-based metaverse.

Chesnais said that the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies will be driven by the more than one billion people globally who do not have access to a bank account because they may not have an address or an official identity.

“The only way for these people to have access to a better way of life and be part of the economic system is to have a wallet and to be paid in cryptocurrency,” he said.

“This is the most important moment for crypto.”

On Wednesday, Yat Siu, the chairman and co-founder Animoca Brands — which invests in and builds various virtual worlds — cautioned that while digital assets are set to grow as virtual worlds become more popular, investors in these technologies will face “bumps in the road” as the technologies mature.

 

 

(Reporting by Michelle Price; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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BENEO announces investment in Chile and Belgium chicory root fiber facilities – DairyReporter.com

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The first step will see more than €30m ($34m) invested. The entire program will lead to a capacity increase of more than 40% of BENEO’s global chicory root fiber production to meet rising customer demand and drive further growth within the market. The work on both production sites is beginning in 2022.

Current market trends see a high demand in prebiotic chicory root fiber. Over the past four years, the number of new product launches containing chicory root fiber inulin has grown by 50% globally, with the market expected to reach $11.48bn by 2028. BENEO’s latest investment will allow for continued fulfillment of market needs within the food and feed industry.

Christoph Boettger, member of the executive board at BENEO, said, “BENEO’s chicory root fibers meet key consumer needs of today and we are convinced that they will continue to play a central role in healthy nutrition in the future. With increased capacity, BENEO continues to offer a secure supply to its customers and partners worldwide.”

Inulin and oligofructose from chicory root fiber are the only plant-based prebiotics. According to the International Scientific Association for Pro- and Prebiotics (ISAPP), they belong to the very few proven prebiotics. The use of chicory root fibers in product development allows manufacturers to respond to leading consumer trends such as digestive health and immunity, inner well-being, weight management, blood sugar management and bone health.

BENEO said having production sites in both the northern and southern hemispheres ensures a secure global supply of prebiotic chicory root fiber.

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Opinion: Ottawa must aim its fiscal powers at lagging business investment in the next phase of recovery – The Globe and Mail

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People navigate through Yorkdale Mall in search of Black Friday sales in Toronto on Nov. 26, 2021.Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press

In a prebudget consultation last winter, Bank of Nova Scotia chief economist Jean-François Perrault warned Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland that she was in danger of oversubsidizing labour at the expense of capital. Nine months further along an economic recovery that has become complicated by labour shortages, he’s stressing that point to her again.

“It’s certainly my view that [government policies] have favoured supporting the labour side versus the capital side in the pandemic. There’s no question,” he said in an interview this week.

“There needs to be something to turbo-charge Canadian investment.”

Mr. Perrault delivered that message to Ms. Freeland personally last week, as the Finance Minister met virtually with a panel of senior private-sector economists – the traditional consultation in advance of the government’s fall economic and fiscal update, promised for sometime in the next three weeks. This week’s third-quarter gross domestic product report from Statistics Canada underlines the point that the recovery is top-heavy on the consumer side, while business investment brings up the rear.

While real GDP (that is, excluding inflation) expanded at a brisk 5.4-per-cent annualized pace in the quarter, the main driver of that growth was household consumption, which surged nearly 18 per cent annualized. Business gross fixed capital formation, on the other hand, contracted nearly 18 per cent, its second consecutive quarterly decline. Since the start of the pandemic, household spending is up 2 per cent, in real terms; business investment in non-residential structures, machinery and equipment is down 11 per cent.

It’s not as if the private sector lacks the money. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce economist Benjamin Tal estimates that during the pandemic, the collective stockpile of corporate cash is about $175-billion higher than its prepandemic trend.

There are some encouraging indications – most notably, from the Bank of Canada’s fall Business Outlook Survey – that the private sector may be prepared to loosen its purse strings considerably. That quarterly report showed that capital spending intentions over the next 12 months are the highest in the 23-year history of the survey.

But the reality is that the government’s economic policies in the pandemic have done remarkably little to stimulate business investment, while delivering a great deal indeed to protect the labour market and support household incomes.

As the economy has recovered, that significantly tilted the scales in favour of hiring rather than capital spending. That may have contributed to the labour crunch many businesses and sectors are now experiencing.

“If we had somehow found a way to steer more dollars to encourage capital spending, as opposed to maintaining the labour force as it was, perhaps we wouldn’t have a million job vacancies now,” Mr. Perrault argued. “Perhaps firms would have taken the last 18 months to try and rethink, retool, invest, in a way that would make the expansion less labour-intensive.”

This certainly isn’t an issue unique to Canada. In a global economic outlook published Wednesday, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development worried that governments’ fiscal focus is still too much on emergency measures to lean against the impact of the pandemic, and not nearly enough on the building blocks for a strong recovery.

“We are more concerned by the use made of debt than its level,” OECD chief economist Laurence Boone wrote in the report. “It is time to refocus fiscal support on productive investment that will boost growth, including investment in education and physical infrastructure.”

For Canada, though, the solution must go beyond a refocusing of public spending over the next few years. It needs to include incentives to light a fire under business investment that was, frankly, a problem long before the pandemic came along. Crisis policies may have merely encouraged a long-standing tendency in our private sector to favour investments in labour over capital.

In the five years prior to the pandemic, total employment in this country rose 8 per cent. Over the same period, non-residential business investment, excluding inflation, fell 15 per cent.

Mr. Perrault suggested that the optimistic investment outlook in the Bank of Canada’s business survey masks the bigger picture: that Canada remains an underperformer relative to our global peers, even in this recovery.

“Canadian investment is probably going to rise less than a lot of our competitors this year; investment is rising everywhere,” he said. “The temptation is going to be to say things are improving … [but] if our relative investment continues to decline, then our competitiveness hurts, our productivity hurts.”

In a report this week, National Bank of Canada chief economist Stéfane Marion noted the country’s private non-residential capital stock – basically, all the physical structures, machinery and equipment owned by the private sector – actually declined last year, for the first time on record. While the pandemic was undoubtedly a contributing factor, growth has been generally trending downward for more than a decade.

“Whatever the cause of this lack of private investment, we must turn it around,” Mr. Marion said.

“Canada, as a small, open economy … must do a better job of growing its capital stock to take advantage of a highly successful immigration policy, and harness the productive power of a growing work force of highly skilled people.”

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