One-third of Belgian investors feel they can play a role in fighting global warming through the composition of their investment portfolios, according to the latest Investor Barometer, issued on Sunday by ING.
More than 7 out of 10 investors wish to be informed about the societal impact of their choices, added the monthly barometer, which measures the confidence of Belgian private investors.
“Belgians are demonstrating increasing sensitivity to the environmental stakes and this trend can also be observed in the area of investments,” ING noted. “78% of respondents thus recognize the reality of global warming and 74% feel people are responsible for it.”
“In a preceding survey on the same subject, in March 2019, 70% were convinced of the role played by man in climate change,” ING recalled.
This increasing awareness is also reflected in the fact that 41% of respondents in the latest barometer survey felt banks should assume their responsibility and give loans only to businesses that make an effort to produce more sustainably.
However, individual responsibility does not get a free pass. “The idea that investors can play a role in the fight against global warming is clearly gaining ground,” said ING Belgium chief economist Peter Vanden Houte.
“33% of the investors feel they can play a role in fighting global warming through the composition of their portfolios,” he pointed out, noting that 27% were of that opinion in March 2019 and 26% in July 2018.
“In fact, more and more Belgians are convinced that sustainable investment can have a positive impact on their portfolios,” Vanden Houte added. “33% of them thus feel that investing in businesses that have a greater respect for the environment will give a relatively higher yield in the next five years. Only 15% think the opposite.”
More generally, investor confidence shot up to 87 in November in Belgium, much higher than the 69 points the barometer registered in October, but still far from the neutral level of 100.
“The desire to invest seems to be increasing. While Belgian investors almost did not want to take any risks in October, today they’ve had a change of heart,” the economist noted. “The percentage who feel now is the time to bet on riskier sectors has thus increased to over 30% in the second fortnight of November. You have to go back to early 2015 to find such enthusiasm.”
The Investor Barometer, which is conducted online by the Kantar TNS market research group, is an initiative of ING in collaboration with the University of Ghent and two dailies, De Tijd and l’Echo.
The Brussels Times