Every European consumes an average of 5.2kg of chocolate per year. While demand keeps rising, climate change and social problems in connection with the main ingredient, cacao, represent a clear challenge. Erste Asset Management is part of the initiative “CocoaAction”, a worldwide group of investors who are committed to the sustainable production and improved working conditions and standard of living of cacao farmers and their families. In this interview, Stefan Rößler, ESG investment analyst with Erste Asset Management, tells us what this initiative is all about and how it fights deficiencies and grievances in cacao production.
Interview with Christian Gaier, Senior Fund Manager for emerging markets government bonds
Emerging equity and bond funds have borne the brunt of the consequences of the global uncertainties in the past years. Wars and conflicts in the region, slumping commodity prices (especially oil), and fears of an interest rate reversal in the USA have caused many investors to withdraw their capital and “park” it in safe havens. Now signs are indicating that investors have been staging a comeback.
The Japanese equity market has been among the weakest ones in the year to date. At -15% (as of 12 July 2016; source: Bloomberg), the Nikkei index is one of the worst performers. For euro investors, the bottom line is not as abysmal: adjusting the loss for the development of the Japanese yen vis-à-vis the euro, the performance improves to -4% (Bloomberg). In spite of the negative sign, the net result still outperforms European equities.
Last Friday evening, a fraction of the Army mostly medium rank officers, had undertaken a coup attempt and seized airports, bridges, TV stations and military headquarters, before attacking the Turkish parliament, leaving the building charred and damaged, and have reasoned to seize power to protect the democracy from the Government.
The vote in favour of leaving the EU by the UK means one thing above all: uncertainty. Because the effects on the sentiment and the behaviour of companies, the public, the financial market participants, and the political parties are difficult to predict. Paradoxically, the prices of risky assets such as equities, corporate bonds, and emerging markets bonds have even increased. At the same time, the yields of safe bonds and the prices of bank shares in Europe have nosedived, while the gold price has risen. How does one fit the other?
„For a long time, coal and oil were pretty much my life” says Gerold Permoser, Chief investment Officer (CIO) and Chief Sustainable Officer (CSIO) of Erste Asset Management.