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Manulife Investment Management’s Global Intelligence report assesses risks and opportunities in a time of global change and historic headwinds

Examines rising existential risks to investment considerations

SINGAPORE – Manulife Investment Management today released its latest Global Intelligence report, highlighting new research from the firm’s investment teams across public and private markets. Titled “Historic Headwinds”, the report explores topics related to some of 2022’s greatest challenges, from the Russia-Ukraine conflict and spiking inflation to rural banking deserts and pandemic-related structural shifts. Key themes include global food security, political instability, carbon offsets, climate solutions in the face of the global energy crisis and the broader impact on sovereign bond markets, and the role that both governments and asset managers can play to help bridge Asia’s widening gender pension income gap.

“Financial markets are facing a confluence of headwinds this year not seen in a generation,” said Paul Lorentz, CEO, Manulife Investment Management.While we’ll continue to seek out opportunities to build resilient portfolios for our clients, we’re pleased to also share our investment research, which seeks to explore the potential longer-term impacts of today’s events.”

Global Intelligence topics include: 

  • Food scarcity, energy insecurity: assessing sovereign ESG risks from the Russia-Ukraine conflict—This article examines the sovereign ESG risks—including second-order economic and sociopolitical events—triggered by the Russia-Ukraine situation.
  • Carbon credit use is reshaping timberland investments—Global timberland specialists explain how the accelerating evolution of carbon markets and subsequent need for the incorporation of carbon values are changing the traditional calculus for timberland owners.
  • Food price inflation: 10 implications—We examine the impact of food price inflation on economies across the world. The article makes the case for why food security must be recognized as a major investment risk with far-reaching economic, social, and geopolitical implications. For example, these effects include the rising inequality of wealth and intensified geopolitical tensions between developed and emerging nations.
  • Building community: a new look at the role of U.S. regional banks—We assess the gap between the reputation of regional U.S. banks and the needs they fill and detail how the services these institutions provide improve conditions for consumers and society by facilitating small business financing, serving as an oasis in banking deserts in largely rural areas, and filling a critical need in traditionally underserved areas of banking.
  • Observing Asia’s gender pension disparities—This article explores the gender-related challenges and opportunities found within Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Malaysia that drive gender inequality at retirement, concluding that structural imbalances at every stage of women’s lives are responsible for financial challenges in later life.

More information and the full report are available here.