Exchange Fund targets responsible investment

Finance | Staff reporter and Reuters 18 Dec 2020

Hong Kong's Exchange Fund, which is used to back the Hong Kong dollar, will give priority to environmental, social, and corporate governance over other investments when long-term adjusted returns are similar, said Eddie Yue Wai-man, chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

The HKMA said it has invested in green bonds since 2015, and was among the early investors in this market.

Meanwhile, the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday vowed to keep funneling cash into financial markets until the US economic recovery is secure, a promise of long-term help that fell short of hopes of an immediate move to shore up a recent pandemic-related slide.

Following a policy meeting that took stock of both the short-term risks to the economy and the new promise of a coronavirus vaccine, Fed chair Jerome Powell acknowledged the US central bank's suite of tools is not well-suited to the most pressing needs faced by households and businesses today.

"The parts of the economy that are weak are the service-sector businesses that involve close contact, such as restaurants and the travel industry," he said following the two-day policy meeting.

"Those are not being held back by financial conditions, but rather by the spread of the virus that is now intensifying across the country," he said.

Unemployed households or struggling businesses are more in need of immediate cash, Powell added, something top lawmakers in Congress are working to provide in talks towards a new US$900 billion (HK$7.02 trillion) pandemic relief bill.

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