April 2008 Newsletter

April 2008 Newsletter

News & Commentaries by Ron Robins


KPMG Report Outlines Climate Change Risks For Various Types Of Businesses. [COMMENTARY]By publishing this report, KPMG has performed an important service for both companies and investors. For companies, the report cites four types of climate change risks: regulatory, reputational, physical and litigious, and shows their effects on different business sectors. For investors, this report could be used as a helpful guide to analyse how companies are performing in regard to dealing with these climate change related risks, and assist them in determining the best stocks that are good to invest in with regard to climate change.
Climate Changes Your Business, April 2008, KPMG, Netherlands.

US Islamic Fund Wins Top Honours. [COMMENTARY]This year’s Lipper Fund Award winner in the equity category — which has over 200 funds — is the Amana Trust Income Fund with close to $400 million in assets. The manager, Nicholas Kaiser, credits his success to the Sharia principles that guide him in his investment selections. He has won this award for two years in a row. Well done Mr. Kaiser!
Managed By God, by Michael Maiello, April 21, 2008, Forbes.com, USA.

Social Stock Exchange Proposed For UK. Rockefeller Doing Study.[COMMENTARY]The concept is to provide a stock market where all listed companies meet certain environmental, social and governance criteria. This could be really interesting for socially responsible and ethical investors. It will be well worth watching. If it works in the UK, where government support appears to be there for it, the concept will spread fast around the world. Such an exchange could make it easier to find ethical stocks that are good to invest in.
Rockefeller backs ‘social′ stock market, April 15, 2008, iNSnet.org (originally published in the Financial Times), UK.

Financial Institutions Need To Understand The Business Case For Biodiversity, Says United Nations Environmental Program’s Finance Initiative (UNEPFI).[COMMENTARY]Though this report is principally aimed at management in the finance sector, it is fascinating reading, particularly also for those investing in this area as well.
The Business Case for Biodiversity, March 2008, United Nations Environmental Program’s Finance Initiative (UNEPFI), Switzerland.

Overview Of US Faith-Based Mutual Funds. [COMMENTARY]There are not too many reviews on faith-based funds. This is a brief, interesting one for US spiritual investors. It is worthwhile to note that Sharia (Islamic) funds are doing especially well as they do not invest in financial stocks due to their prohibition on investing in companies who receive interest income.
Fever Grows for Faith-Based Funds, by Liz Wolgemuth, April 11, 2008, U.S. News & World Report, USA.

Institutions Selling Tax-Deferred Savings/Investment Plans In New Zealand Required To State If They Have An Ethical Investing Policy. [COMMENTARY]As far as I know this is the first time any government has asked such providers to say whether or not they have an ethical investing policy. Clearly, it is likely that any providers who do not have such a policy could be at a disadvantage. The policy came into effect April 1. Well done New Zealand!
Winds of ethical change, April 8, 2008, Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand.

Article Claims Leading Figures Behind Dow Jones Islamic Index & Other Sharia Compliant Funds, Back Terror Groups. [COMMENTARY]The financial world’s interest in Sharia (sometimes spelt ’Shariah’) compliant banking and investing may undergo more scrutiny due to assertions that some key figures backing it also back terrorist groups. This will be an important area to watch in the years ahead, as Sharia finance has been burgeoning. To me, the pure concept of Sharia finance looks appealing and fascinating as it has many of the attributes of spiritual or ethical investing. However, it does seem that ’background checks’ of some of the leading individuals behind it is warranted.
ATTACK ALERT: Wall Street and Sharia Finance, by Alex Alexiev, April 6, 2008, B’NAI ELAM, Israel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *