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Engagement Report
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April 12, 2022

Emerging Markets ESG and Sustainability - 2022 Report

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April 12, 2022

Emerging Markets ESG and Sustainability - 2022 Report


Engagement Report

Emerging Markets ESG and Sustainability - 2022 Report

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April 12, 2022

 
 

With more than three decades of investing in emerging markets, our team has long recognized the importance of sustainable development and ESG challenges.

When identifying and evaluating stocks, our portfolio managers place a great deal of emphasis on the quality of leadership, sustainable drivers of value and pathways for growth. We also believe that socialization of ESG factors in EM will mean an added set of disclosures and transparency over time, which will be critical not just to a fuller understanding of ESG risks and opportunities but to offer an additional lens on the quality of the businesses in which we invest.

As active managers, we have always believed in the importance of direct dialogue with company management, and since 2017, we have added dedicated ESG engagements to our process. Material ESG issues are incorporated into our general management meetings, but we also believe that specific engagements allow us to look beyond an ESG data point and understand at a deeper level how a company’s ESG risks and opportunities are evolving, and impacting corporate strategy, current operations and long-term financial performance. We are then able to evaluate qualitative and quantitative ESG factors in greater detail and integrate them into our investment decisions. Our portfolios consist of companies that we believe will remain proactive and resilient, and continue to generate sustainable earnings growth in the face of critical environmental and social challenges globally.

Finally, as responsible managers, we actively examine and vote our proxies. Voting represents the direct participation of shareholders in the overall governance of a corporation and offers shareholders a voice on important issues, such as director independence and executive compensation. In 2021, we voted at 263 meetings and reviewed 2,823 proposals across our team’s strategies. We voted against management 8% of the time, the majority of which were on board/directors’ independence issues and executive compensation. Further, investor expectations for independence and diversity of board members and increased disclosures are growing. We believe both are part of a nascent effort to refresh stale boards in EM, an effort that can bring fresh perspectives, added expertise and more accountability.  

 

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RISK CONSIDERATIONS

ESG strategies that incorporate impact investing and/or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors could result in relative investment performance deviating from other strategies or broad market benchmarks, depending on whether such sectors or investments are in or out of favor in the market. As a result, there is no assurance ESG strategies could result in more favorable investment performance. There is no assurance that a portfolio will achieve its investment objective. Portfolios are subject to market risk, which is the possibility that the market values of securities owned by the portfolio will decline and that the value of portfolio shares may therefore be less than what you paid for them. Market values can change daily due to economic and other events (e.g. natural disasters, health crises, terrorism, conflicts and social unrest) that affect markets, countries, companies or governments. It is difficult to predict the timing, duration, and potential adverse effects (e.g. portfolio liquidity) of events. Accordingly, you can lose money investing in a portfolio. Please be aware that this portfolio may be subject to certain additional risks. In general, equities securities’ values also fluctuate in response to activities specific to a company. Investments in foreign markets entail special risks such as currency, political, economic, market and liquidity risks. The risks of investing in emerging market countries are greater than the risks generally associated with investments in foreign developed countries. Stocks of small and medium-capitalization companies entail special risks, such as limited product lines, markets, and financial resources, and greater market volatility than securities of larger, more established companies. Derivative instruments can be illiquid, may disproportionately increase losses and may have a potentially large negative impact on the Portfolio’s performance. Illiquid securities may be more difficult to sell and value than public traded securities (liquidity risk). Non-diversified portfolios often invest in a more limited number of issuers. As such, changes in the financial condition or market value of a single issuer may cause greater volatility.

DEFINITIONS

“ESG” investment: Environmental Social and Governance based investment is an investment approach which takes explicit account of the environmental, social and corporate governance aspects of all proposed investments.

IMPORTANT IMFORMATION

There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions, and each investor should evaluate their ability to invest for the long-term, especially during periods of downturn in the market.

A separately managed account may not be appropriate for all investors. Separate accounts managed according to the particular Strategy may include securities that may not necessarily track the performance of a particular index. A minimum asset level is required.

For important information about the investment managers, please refer to Form ADV Part 2.

The views and opinions and/or analysis expressed are those of the author or the investment team as of the date of preparation of this material and are subject to change at any time without notice due to market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. Furthermore, the views will not be updated or otherwise revised to reflect information that subsequently becomes available or circumstances existing, or changes occurring, after the date of publication. The views expressed do not reflect the opinions of all investment personnel at Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) and its subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively “the Firm”), and may not be reflected in all the strategies and products that the Firm offers.

Forecasts and/or estimates provided herein are subject to change and may not actually come to pass. Information regarding expected market returns and market outlooks is based on the research, analysis and opinions of the authors or the investment team. These conclusions are speculative in nature, may not come to pass and are not intended to predict the future performance of any specific strategy or product the Firm offers. Future results may differ significantly depending on factors such as changes in securities or financial markets or general economic conditions.

This material has been prepared on the basis of publicly available information, internally developed data and other third-party sources believed to be reliable. However, no assurances are provided regarding the reliability of such information and the Firm has not sought to independently verify information taken from public and third-party sources.

This material is a general communication, which is not impartial and all information provided has been prepared solely for informational and educational purposes and does not constitute an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell any particular security or to adopt any specific investment strategy. The information herein has not been based on a consideration of any individual investor circumstances and is not investment advice, nor should it be construed in any way as tax, accounting, legal or regulatory advice. To that end, investors should seek independent legal and financial advice, including advice as to tax consequences, before making any investment decision.

Charts and graphs provided herein are for illustrative purposes only. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

This material is not a product of Morgan Stanley’s Research Department and should not be regarded as a research material or a recommendation.

The Firm has not authorised financial intermediaries to use and to distribute this material, unless such use and distribution is made in accordance with applicable law and regulation. Additionally, financial intermediaries are required to satisfy themselves that the information in this material is appropriate for any person to whom they provide this material in view of that person’s circumstances and purpose. The Firm shall not be liable for, and accepts no liability for, the use or misuse of this material by any such financial intermediary.

This material may be translated into other languages. Where such a translation is made this English version remains definitive. If there are any discrepancies between the English version and any version of this material in another language, the English version shall prevail.

The whole or any part of this material may not be directly or indirectly reproduced, copied, modified, used to create a derivative work, performed, displayed, published, posted, licensed, framed, distributed or transmitted or any of its contents disclosed to third parties without the Firm’s express written consent. This material may not be linked to unless such hyperlink is for personal and non-commercial use. All information contained herein is proprietary and is protected under copyright and other applicable law.

Eaton Vance is part of Morgan Stanley Investment Management.  Morgan Stanley Investment Management is the asset management division of Morgan Stanley.

DISTRIBUTION

This material is only intended for and will only be distributed to persons resident in jurisdictions where such distribution or availability would not be contrary to local laws or regulations.

MSIM, the asset management division of Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), and its affiliates have arrangements in place to market each other’s products and services.  Each MSIM affiliate is regulated as appropriate in the jurisdiction it operates. MSIM’s affiliates are: Eaton Vance Management (International) Limited, Eaton Vance Advisers International Ltd, Calvert Research and Management, Eaton Vance Management, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC, Atlanta Capital Management LLC, Eaton Vance Management International (Asia) Pte. Ltd.

EMEA:
This material is for Professional Clients/Accredited Investors only.

In the EU, MSIM and Eaton Vance materials are issued by MSIM Fund Management (Ireland) Limited (“FMIL”). FMIL is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and is incorporated in Ireland as a private company limited by shares with company registration number 616661 and has its registered address at The Observatory, 7-11 Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2, D02 VC42, Ireland.

Outside the EU, MSIM materials are issued by Morgan Stanley Investment Management Limited (MSIM Ltd) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England. Registered No. 1981121. Registered Office: 25 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 4QA.

In Switzerland, MSIM materials are issued by Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc, London (Zurich Branch) Authorised and regulated by the Eidgenössische Finanzmarktaufsicht ("FINMA"). Registered Office: Beethovenstrasse 33, 8002 Zurich, Switzerland.

Outside the US and EU, Eaton Vance materials are issued by Eaton Vance Management (International) Limited (“EVMI”) 125 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1AR, UK, which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Italy: MSIM FMIL (Milan Branch), (Sede Secondaria di Milano) Palazzo Serbelloni Corso Venezia, 16 20121 Milano, Italy. The Netherlands: MSIM FMIL (Amsterdam Branch), Rembrandt Tower, 11th Floor Amstelplein 1 1096HA, Netherlands. France: MSIM FMIL (Paris Branch), 61 rue de Monceau 75008 Paris, France. Spain: MSIM FMIL (Madrid Branch), Calle Serrano 55, 28006, Madrid, Spain.

MIDDLE EAST:

Dubai: MSIM Ltd (Representative Office, Unit Precinct 3-7th Floor-Unit 701 and 702, Level 7, Gate Precinct Building 3, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai, 506501, United Arab Emirates. Telephone: +97 (0)14 709 7158).

EVMI utilises a third-party organisation in the Middle East, Wise Capital (Middle East) Limited ("Wise Capital"), to promote the investment capabilities of Eaton Vance to institutional investors. For these services, Wise Capital is paid a fee based upon the assets that Eaton Vance provides investment advice to following these introductions.

U.S.: A separately managed account may not be appropriate for all investors. Separate accounts managed according to the Strategy include a number of securities and will not necessarily track the performance of any index. Please consider the investment objectives, risks and fees of the Strategy carefully before investing. A minimum asset level is required. For important information about the investment managers, please refer to Form ADV Part 2.

NOT FDIC INSURED | OFFER NO BANK GUARANTEE | MAY LOSE VALUE | NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY | NOT A DEPOSIT

Hong Kong: This material has been issued by Morgan Stanley Asia Limited for use in Hong Kong and shall only be made available to “professional investors” as defined under the Securities and Futures Ordinance of Hong Kong (Cap 571). The contents of this material have not been reviewed nor approved by any regulatory authority including the Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong. Accordingly, save where an exemption is available under the relevant law, this material shall not be issued, circulated, distributed, directed at, or made available to, the public in Hong Kong. Singapore: This material should not be considered to be the subject of an invitation for subscription or purchase, whether directly or indirectly, to the public or any member of the public in Singapore other than (i) to an institutional investor under section 304 of the Securities and Futures Act, Chapter 289 of Singapore (“SFA”); (ii) to a “relevant person” (which includes an accredited investor) pursuant to section 305 of the SFA, and such distribution is in accordance with the conditions specified in section 305 of the SFA; or (iii) otherwise pursuant to, and in accordance with the conditions of, any other applicable provision of the SFA. This publication has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.   Australia: This publication is disseminated in Australia by Morgan Stanley Investment Management (Australia) Pty Limited ACN: 122040037, AFSL No. 314182, which accept responsibility for its contents. This publication, and any access to it, is intended only for “wholesale clients” within the meaning of the Australian Corporations Act.  Calvert Research and Management, ARBN 635 157 434 is regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under U.S. laws which differ from Australian laws. Calvert Research and Management is exempt from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services license in accordance with class order 03/1100 in respect of the provision of financial services to wholesale clients in Australia.

Japan: For professional investors, this document is circulated or distributed for informational purposes only. For those who are not professional investors, this document is provided in relation to Morgan Stanley Investment Management (Japan) Co., Ltd. (“MSIMJ”)’s business with respect to discretionary investment management agreements (“IMA”) and investment advisory agreements (“IAA”). This is not for the purpose of a recommendation or solicitation of transactions or offers any particular financial instruments. Under an IMA, with respect to management of assets of a client, the client prescribes basic management policies in advance and commissions MSIMJ to make all investment decisions based on an analysis of the value, etc. of the securities, and MSIMJ accepts such commission. The client shall delegate to MSIMJ the authorities necessary for making investment. MSIMJ exercises the delegated authorities based on investment decisions of MSIMJ, and the client shall not make individual instructions. All investment profits and losses belong to the clients; principal is not guaranteed. Please consider the investment objectives and nature of risks before investing. As an investment advisory fee for an IAA or an IMA, the amount of assets subject to the contract multiplied by a certain rate (the upper limit is 2.20% per annum (including tax)) shall be incurred in proportion to the contract period. For some strategies, a contingency fee may be incurred in addition to the fee mentioned above. Indirect charges also may be incurred, such as brokerage commissions for incorporated securities. Since these charges and expenses are different depending on a contract and other factors, MSIMJ cannot present the rates, upper limits, etc. in advance. All clients should read the Documents Provided Prior to the Conclusion of a Contract carefully before executing an agreement. This document is disseminated in Japan by MSIMJ, Registered No. 410 (Director of Kanto Local Finance Bureau (Financial Instruments Firms)), Membership: The Japan Securities Dealers Association, the Investment Trusts Association, Japan, the Japan Investment Advisers Association and the Type II Financial Instruments Firms Association.

LatAm

BRAZIL. This document does not constitute a public offering of securities for the purposes of the applicable Brazilian regulations and has therefore not been and will not be registered with the Brazilian Securities Commission (Comissão de Valores Mobiliários) or any other government authority in Brazil. All information contained herein is confidential and is for the exclusive use and review of the intended addressee of this document, and may not be passed on to any third party.

CHILE. Neither the Fund nor the interests in the Fund are registered in the Registry of Offshore Securities (el Registro de Valores Extranjeros) or subject to the supervision of the Commission for the Financial Market (la Comisión para el Mercado Financiero). This document and other offering materials relating to the offer of the interests in the Fund do not constitute a public offer of, or an invitation to subscribe for or purchase, the Fund interests in the Republic of Chile, other than to individually identified purchasers pursuant to a private offering within the meaning of Article 4 of the Chilean Securities Act (la Ley del Mercado de Valores) (an offer that is not “addressed to the public at large or to a certain sector or specific group of the public”).

COLOMBIA. This document does not constitute an invitation to invest or a public offer in the Republic of Colombia and is not governed by Colombian law. The interests in the Fund have not been and will not be registered with the National Register of Securities and Issuers (el Registro Nacional de Valores y Emisores) maintained by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Colombia (la Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia) and will not be listed on the Colombian Stock Exchange (la Bolsa de Valores de Colombia). The interests in the Fund are being offered under circumstances which do not constitute a public offering of securities under applicable Colombian securities laws and regulations. The offer of the interests in the Fund is addressed to fewer than one hundred specifically identified investors. Accordingly, the interests in the Fund may not be marketed, offered, sold or negotiated in Colombia, except under circumstances which do not constitute a public offering of securities under applicable Colombian securities laws and regulations. This document is provided at the request of the addressee for information purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation. The interests in the Fund may not be promoted or marketed in Colombia or to Colombian residents unless such promotion and marketing is carried out in compliance with Decree 2555 of 2010 and other applicable rules and regulations related to the promotion of foreign financial and securities related products or services in Colombia.

Colombian eligible investors acknowledge that the interests in the Fund (i) are not financial products, (ii) are transferable only in accordance with the terms of the Fund's constitutional documents and (iii) do not offer any principal protection.

Colombian eligible investors acknowledge Colombian laws and regulations (in particular, foreign exchange, securities and tax regulations) applicable to any transaction or investment consummated in connection with an investment in the Fund, and represent that they are the sole liable party for full compliance with any such laws and regulations. In addition, Colombian investors acknowledge and agree that the Fund will not have any responsibility, liability or obligation in connection with any consent, approval, filing, proceeding, authorization or permission required by the investor or any actions taken or to be taken by the investor in connection with the offer, sale or delivery of the interests in the Fund under Colombian law.

MEXICO. Any prospective purchaser of the interests in the Fund must be either an institutional investor (inversionista institucional) or a qualified investor (inversionista calificado) within the meaning of the Mexican Securities Market Law (Ley del Mercado de Valores) (the “Securities Market Law”) and other applicable Mexican laws in effect.

The interests in the Fund have not and will not be registered in the National Registry of Securities (Registro Nacional de Valores) maintained by the Mexican Banking and Securities Commission (Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores). The interests in the Fund may not be offered or sold in the United Mexican States by any means except in circumstances which constitute a private offering pursuant to Article 8 of the Securities Market Law and its regulations. No Mexican regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the interests in the Fund or passed on the solvency of the Fund. All applicable provisions of the Securities Market Law must be complied with in respect of any sale, offer or distribution of, or intermediation in respect of, the Fund interests in, from or otherwise involving Mexico, and any resale of the interests in the Fund within Mexican territory must be made in a manner that will constitute a private offering pursuant to Article 8 of the Securities Market Law and its regulations.

PERU. The interests in the Fund have not been and will not be registered in Peru under Decreto Legislativo 862: Ley de Fondos de Inversión y sus Sociedades Administradoras or under Decreto Legislativo 861: Ley del Mercado de Valores (the “Securities Market Law”), and are being offered to institutional investors only (as defined in article 8 of the Securities Market Law) pursuant to a private placement, according to article 5 of the Securities Market Law. The interests in the Fund have not been registered in the securities market public registry (Registro Público del Mercado de Valores) maintained by, and the offering of the Fund interests in Peru is not subject to the supervision of, the Superintendencia del Mercado de Valores. Any transfers of the Fund interests shall be subject to the limitations contained in the Securities Market Law and the regulations issued thereunder.

URUGUAY. The offering of the Interests qualifies as a private placement pursuant to section 2 of Uruguayan law 18,627.  The Interests will not be offered or sold to the public (Individuals or Companies) in Uruguay, except in circumstances which do not constitute a public offering or distribution through a recognized Exchange under Uruguayan laws and regulations,.  Neither the Fund nor the Interests are or will be registered with la Superintendencia de Servicios Financieros del Banco Central del Uruguay. The Fund corresponds to an investment fund that is not an investment fund regulated by Uruguayan law 16,774 dated September 27, 1996, as amended.

© 2022 Morgan Stanley. All rights reserved.                                     CRC 4489974   Exp. 03/31/2023

 

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