20th April 2020
Leonardo Royal Hotel, St Pauls


If you are interested in joining as a speaker email Dhanmita.Boodhna@GFCMediaGroup.com

ESG Capital Markets into the mainstream: The role of governments and regulators
  • Climate stress testing: What is the objective? What does the financial industry need to prepare for? What will the outcome be?
  • Sharing best practice internationally (in light of the global climate crisis)
  • Initiatives to encourage Green and ESG lending
Spearheading ESG capital markets integration: What is the right mix of regulation, and legislation for the market to flourish?
  • EU Green Taxonomy – too prescriptive, not enough or just right? Understanding the industry’s feedback post the draft phase
  • What do the People’s Bank of China Guidelines for Establishing the Green Financial Systementail and is this impacting market technicals for the green bond market in China?
  • To what extent do government led frameworks provide investors, issuers and financiers the confidence to issue debt under this umbrella?
  • How easily can one set of guidelines be reproduced in other geographies? Are the frameworks encouraging or deterring issuers – DM vs. EM, IG vs. HY
How green (and sustainable) is green (and sustainable) enough to secure capital and investment mandates?
  • Balancing sustainability and liquidity: Is ESG/green attracting greater liquidity into deals or are deals losing investors when there isn’t enough presenting of ESG?
  • How much scrutiny are investment managers under to incorporate ESG into their portfolios? What is the minimum level of ESG-integration for investors to hold onto mandates?
  • How much is ESG impacting issuers when they are fund raising? What are the expectations amongst investors for issuers to present on their ESG and their financials?
  • Can the investor and issuer universe converge on a set of ESG standards across asset classes that supports development of the market (boosting liquidity) and meets UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)?
SDG-linked bonds and loans: A bridge to transition oil, gas, mining and airline sectors to the sustainable finance market?
  • What is the SDG-linked bond? How can SDG open the market to companies with low(er) ESG scores?
  • Market sentiment and feedback of the Enel SDG-linked bonds: Are investors convinced?
  • How are SDG-linked bond structured and priced? Who buys them? Does the coupon ratchet cause issues for fixed income investors’ portfolios?
  • Transition finance vs./and sustainable finance: Is there another way to deepen the market?
Establishing benchmarks and a common language: The role of third-party assessors and ratings
  • Objectifying the subjective: How to standardise criteria/ratings for a theme as fluid as the environment, sustainability and governance
  • How to assess and rate Sustainable and Green: Navigating the data, what to extract, and what to use
  • Which sectors and asset classes are already well covered from a data perspective? Which are lacking? Is this impacting the ‘invest-ability’ and growth/development of certain sectors?
  • What are the steps towards standardisation for the industry?
Credit returns vs. ESG ratings: Are investors forced to compromise on returns by staying true to ESG criteria/principles?
  • Responsible investing vs. delivering returns: Is there any correlation between companies’ ESG scores and their credit worthiness/ability to repay debt?
  • How are investors incorporating ESG into their portfolios? What impact is this transition having on returns and profits?
  • The elephant in the room: How to continue investing into oil, gas, mining and countries with poor governance? What role do investors play in maintaining their spectrum of investable credits/assets?
  • Sanction or reward? Should investors sanction those companies who are non-compliant and have low ESG scores? Or should those with sustainable development goals (SDG) be rewarded? How inclusive should changes the way organisations fund themselves be?
Journeying through sustainable development goals: From ESG policy setting to issuing Sustainable Bonds
  • Corporate finance and an ESG policy: Where to start?
  • How is environmental, sustainable, and governance principles integrated into the core of your business? How do you then successful document and communicate this to investors and financiers?
  • Making sense of the eco-system: What to know about rating, reporting, investment, and capital deployment
  • What role do investors, bankers, regulators and legislators play in advising and preparing issuers? Are investors driving the agenda or regulators and governments?
  • Issuing ESG capital markets instruments and Sustainable bonds: Process, structuring and execution
How are fixed income investors able to improve the ESG score of issuers?
  • How are investors able to motivate/encourage issuers to improve their ratings?
  • Sovereign issuers: Differentiating credit rating from ESG rating – what are sovereigns doing and do they understand how investors perceive these risks differently?
  • How the sovereign restructuring process can positively impact the G in ESG
This house believes that without a pricing benefit ESG/sustainable capital markets will remain a niche

An affirmative team will do battle on stage with an opposition team for 45 minutes to win the audience’s votes. The affirmative team will have 10 minutes to present an argument in favour to each of the issues laid out by the moderator, followed by 10 minutes from the opposition. After three rounds of questions by the moderator, the debate will be opened to the floor for 15 minutes. After 45 minutes of intense debate, the audience will vote on whether this house believes that without a pricing benefit ESG/sustainable capital markets will remain a niche.

Key issues to be debated include:

  • When the going gets tough: What are the long-term incentives for companies to keep issuing sustainable bonds if there is no pricing benefit?
  • Do green/sustainable bonds trade better in times of volatility?
Why getting ESG financing and sustainable investment in emerging markets should have the greatest impact and possibly greatest returns?
  • Pioneering issuers of green bonds, green sukuks, SDG linked bonds and loans: understanding the process for debut issuers and how they overcame challenges and obstacles
  • Do ESG and SDG linked debt products differentiate EM issuers in the market – particularly in the eyes of investors?
  • Understanding the tangible and non-tangible benefits of going green – unearthing common misconceptions
Breakout session: Can Islamic Finance and ESG financing be integrated? Evaluating the synergies
  • Great in theory but where is the evidence to show that Islamic finance and ESG principles can work harmoniously?
  • A case in point: assessing the journey of the green sukuk from objective, structure, pricing, and execution?
  • Evaluating the difference in issuing USD Sukuks and local currency – how do the markets differ?
  • Understanding your target investor: who is looking to buy these sukuks? Is there a secondary market for them?
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