Research and Insights
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How Far Could the Banking Panic Spread?2 mins read Quick Take | Mar 21, 2023 |
In the midst of the global banking crisis, looking at corporate-credit markets through a factor lens may provide a clue as to how much further the turmoil could spread.
Fewer Lenders Active in US Commercial Mortgages2 mins read Quick Take | Mar 20, 2023 |
There is greater attention on the U.S. debt market after the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank and struggles elsewhere. We look at the already-declining pool of lenders active in commercial real estate.
Climate Infuses Proxy Strategy and South Korea Ponders 69-Hour Work WeekPodcast | Mar 17, 2023 |
South Korea’s government has proposed a change to laws governing working hours. We look at why the proposal has not been well received by some stakeholders and what it could mean for how companies manage their workforces in future. And then we look at how shareholders’ approach to climate engagement might be changing, but also staying the same.
Most Global Property Markets Posted Negative Returns2 mins read Quick Take | Mar 16, 2023 |
The total return for properties in the MSCI Global Quarterly Property Index sank to -3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2022 amid a deepening global malaise. For the first time since 2009, all property segments posted negative returns.
A New Era for the Bank of Japan?6 mins read Blog | Mar 15, 2023 |
Haruhiko Kuroda is stepping down after a decade as governor of the Bank of Japan, and the soon-to-be-appointed Kazuo Ueda has the potential to shake things up. What could the new regime mean for investors?
A Conundrum for the Fed3 mins read Quick Take | Mar 15, 2023 |
The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank triggered a sharp sell-off in the stocks and bonds of regional U.S. banks and a rally in Treasurys. All eyes are now on the Federal Reserve. Will it continue raising rates or pivot?
How Could China’s Reopening Impact Global Stocks?6 mins read Blog | Mar 14, 2023 |
China’s reopening from COVID-19 lockdowns has led to the recent outperformance of the Chinese equity market. We used companies’ economic-exposure data to assess the reopening’s impact on global equities with large revenue exposure to the country.
MBS Valuation and Risk Management Under SOFR7 mins read Blog | Mar 13, 2023 |
With LIBOR’s imminent cessation, the transition from LIBOR to new benchmark the secured overnight financing rate (SOFR) is entering a new stage. We analyze the potential impact on valuation frameworks and hedging practices for mortgage-backed securities.
Is Silicon Valley Bank’s Failure a Sign of Deeper Trouble?2 mins read Quick Take | Mar 13, 2023 |
Factor analysis of corporate credit spreads following the failure of Silicon Valley Bank shows the bond market has recognized both issuer-specific and systematic consequences.
Real Estate Factors’ Performance: The Financial Crisis vs. Now7 mins read Blog | Mar 10, 2023 |
As U.K. real estate experiences a pricing correction at record pace, it’s natural to make comparisons to the 2008 global financial crisis. We draw on factors in private real estate to better understand current conditions and give us clues to what may happen next.
ESG Is Becoming Polarized – It Doesn’t Need To BePodcast | Mar 10, 2023 |
ESG has always been different things to different people. But some of its newest critics suggest that ESG investing is being used to impose liberal ideologies on companies, their investors and their employees. We take a closer look at this backlash in the US, including proposed legislation.
Music: “Curious Play” by PhilLarson (License Code: YFUS65RN4A [Envato Elements])
Key Takeaways from China’s National People’s Congress2 mins read Quick Take | Mar 10, 2023 |
China recently ended its “zero-COVID” policy by lifting restriction and reopening its economy. We analyze the key takeaways from China’s 14th National People’s Congress and provide context on previous growth targets.
Manhattan Office Redevelopment: Still Stuck on Pricing5 mins read Blog | Mar 9, 2023 |
Sales of Manhattan offices for the purpose of conversion into apartments have been minimal. We look at the barriers deterring redevelopment.
What Diversity Fatigue? More Women Filled More Firms’ Senior RolesPodcast | Mar 9, 2023 |
A growing number of companies around the world have reached the “tipping point” of 30% women on boards, though variations exist across sectors and around the world. We explore new research around the benefits of having more women in senior positions for society, companies and investors.
Carbon-Emissions Data to Inform the MBS Market5 mins read Blog | Mar 8, 2023 |
Our state-level analysis of carbon emissions for U.S. residential properties indicates strong regional differences in emissions and their drivers. Such data could improve understanding of emissions from holdings in mortgage-backed securities and property loans.
Returns for European Property Fell to a Record Low2 mins read Quick Take | Mar 8, 2023 |
Total returns for commercial properties covered by the MSCI Europe Quarterly Property Index reached a new low in the fourth quarter of 2022, surpassing the weakest returns seen during the 2008 global financial crisis.
ESG Factor Returns: 2022 in Review5 mins read Blog | Mar 7, 2023 |
Our analysis of ESG factor performance in 2022 suggests that time horizons, as well as specific sectors and regions, may be significant in assessing the return characteristics of ESG portfolios.
Industrial and Offices Led UK Property’s Fall in 20222 mins read Quick Take | Mar 6, 2023 |
The 2022 performance of the MSCI UK Annual Property Index reflects what we have seen in the sagging U.K. monthly and quarterly indexes, with a decline of 7.1% for the full year. The speed of the downturn of industrial properties was quite remarkable.
Will the US Government Default?4 mins read Blog | Mar 2, 2023 |
The debt-ceiling debate has heated up in Congress, and the U.S. government’s ability to borrow could be exhausted sometime between July and September. But what does the market for credit-default swaps say about the likelihood of U.S. default?
40% Women on Boards — the New Frontier5 mins read Blog | Mar 1, 2023 |
The number of women on boards continues to rise. While a 30% board gender diversity target has long been the magic number, the continued evolution of boards, both by choice and by regulation, means 40% women on boards is becoming the new frontier.
Drawing Insights from Thematic Exposures: The (Natural) Language of Growth Investing6 mins read Blog | Feb 27, 2023 |
What impact could natural language processing (NLP) have on equity portfolio management? We explore how firms’ thematic exposures, assembled with an assist from NLP, can bring unique insights to portfolios.
Bribing Olympic Committees and Tracing Ben & Jerry’s Supply ChainPodcast | Feb 24, 2023 |
A Japanese publishing company allegedly bribed an Olympic committee member to become an official sponsor of the Tokyo Games. As Kadokawa Corp picks up the pieces, we ask what governance factors may have led to this point. And then we look at why doing the “right thing” by sourcing slavery-free cocoa is becoming a regulatory imperative, even for ice cream makers.
The Russia-Ukraine War and the Markets: One Year LaterPodcast | Feb 23, 2023 |
While the direct market impact of Russia’s invasion has lessened over time, there have been longer lasting effects that have exacerbated investor concerns around inflation, rising rates and central bank actions around the globe. We examine the issue through a multi-asset-class lens.
Prices of US Commercial Property Tumbled in January2 mins read Quick Take | Feb 23, 2023 |
Prices of U.S. commercial property fell at an annual pace of decline not seen since late 2010. The index for apartment properties posted the largest drop of any property segment.
Corporate Bonds and Climate Change RiskResearch Report | Feb 22, 2023 |
In this paper, we highlight to investors and portfolio managers the significance of climate-change risk for the value of corporate bonds, as well as provide a framework for further research in this area.
Regional Blocs: Emerging to Diverging Markets5 mins read Blog | Feb 22, 2023 |
One of the primary investment implications of deglobalization in 2022 was a greater dispersion of returns among countries. We review the investor challenge of identifying potential pockets of opportunity through targeted EM allocations.
Global Markets One Year After Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine11 mins read Blog | Feb 21, 2023 |
Markets have partially recovered since Russia invaded Ukraine, but questions remain about inflation, economic growth and central banks’ actions. Understanding last year’s performance across asset classes, may help with investment decisions in 2023.
The ESG of a Train’s Toxic PlumePodcast | Feb 17, 2023 |
The derailment of a train carrying possibly hazardous materials near East Palestine, Ohio on February 3 has prompted environmental concerns and chemical fears for residents. They have returned home but even as state officials work to reassure them, many remained concerned. The curious thing about all this is Norfolk Southern, the company that operated the train, did not have to label the rail cars carrying the chemicals as hazardous – which would have prompted more safety regulations to be in place. We discuss why the company didn’t have to do this (hint: regulatory thresholds) and what this derailment means for an industry already struggling with labor relations issues.
What Biodiversity Loss and COP15 Mean for Investors7 mins read Blog | Feb 16, 2023 |
Investors face growing pressure to reverse biodiversity loss. We take a look at the issues shaping nature-related financial risk, key takeaways from the COP15 pact for investors and developments in biodiversity-based disclosure.
Agency MBS in 2023: Uncharted Territory6 mins read Blog | Feb 15, 2023 |
Rates spiked in 2022 as the Federal Reserve started quantitative tightening, pushing the prices of most agency mortgage-backed securities into discount territory, while prepayment speeds have slowed to a historical low. The market has entered uncharted territory.
A Day in the Life of Regional Futures5 mins read Blog | Feb 15, 2023 |
Investors benchmarked to global and regional indexes may use index futures for hedging or asset-allocation decisions. We analyzed the intra-day volume patterns of futures linked to the MSCI World, MSCI EM and MSCI EAFE Indexes to illuminate pockets of liquidity.
ESG Ratings Financial Performance Blurred but Still Present in 20221 mins read Quick Take | Feb 14, 2023 |
Some systematic factors flipped the direction of their contribution last year relative to recent years. We analyzed the return drivers of companies with different MSCI ESG Ratings in 2022.
Women on Boards Progress Report 2022Research Report | Feb 13, 2023
MSCI has tracked board gender diversity every year since 2009. Our annual Women on Boards report highlights trends across markets and sectors for publicly listed companies and details the changing share of female representation at the board level.
Is Inflation Here to Stay?5 mins read Blog | Feb 13, 2023 |
The market has recently signaled optimism about slowing inflation and interest-rate hikes. If correct, such easing could lead to lower mortgage rates. But could real estate costs themselves continue to push up inflation?
Matching Portfolios and Clients’ Expected Returns, with Factors4 mins read Blog | Feb 10, 2023 |
Wealth managers face the challenge of matching clients’ objectives with an ever-growing set of investment products. Standard practice is to build strategic asset-allocation models based on broad capital-market assumptions. But we present a new approach.
The Labor of ESGPodcast | Feb 10, 2023 |
There have been over 70,000 people laid off from their jobs in the tech industry – an amount unseen since the dot.com bubble burst. Layoffs are an inevitable part of a capitalist system and, so, come with the territory for companies. But what is not inevitable is the reaction the surviving employees have to seeing their friends and colleagues let go: will they be angry at the company they still work for? Motivated? Fearful? ESG tries to assess the long-term effects that layoffs have on a company performance. In this episode, we discuss how ESG does this and why it is important.
Real Estate Investors Brace for Bumpy 2023Podcast | Feb 9, 2023 |
It is increasingly clear that commercial real estate is experiencing a downturn but, due to the relative opacity of private real estate, it is not clear how much further we may have to go before we reach the bottom. Industry veterans David Green-Morgan and Will Robson join us for an in-depth discussion on performance drivers and where investors may be focused as 2023 marches on.
How to Evaluate Climate Metrics and Avoid the Big Confusion5 mins read Blog | Feb 8, 2023 |
Climate metrics can often be a daunting field, with misunderstanding and confusion rife. We present a two-step toolkit that can help investors identify the most suitable metrics as they look to gauge progress toward their climate-investing goals.
The Futures of Emerging Markets in Asia2 mins read Quick Take | Feb 8, 2023 |
There are varying risks and opportunities for emerging markets (EM) equities in Asia. We highlight EM Asia futures as a potential path for asset allocation, tactical adjustments and risk-management purposes.
Net-Zero Alignment: Engaging on Climate ChangeResearch Report | Feb 7, 2023 |
Engagement, in tandem with capital allocation, is a key lever for institutional investors who wish to pursue net-zero targets.
What ESG Tells Us About AdaniPodcast | Feb 6, 2023
The Adani Group was rising along with India’s economy. Then a little known US short seller perhaps aptly named Hindenburg released a report that accused the Group of some pretty damaging business practices. Adani said the report was bogus, the market reached anyway, and now one of the most important companies in India is fighting investor perception. But how did this happen? Weeks ago, Adani Group seemed like a stable growth story. Yet, when it comes to Governance, ESG saw some risky signs in Adani Group and companies like it years ago. We explore what those vulnerabilities were, and why they might have left Adani Group susceptible to attack by a small, previously unknown short seller.
UK Real Estate Returns Slid as Capital Growth Tumbled2 mins read Quick Take | Feb 3, 2023 |
The MSCI UK Quarterly Property Index posted a quarterly return of -11.9% at the end of 2022, the lowest level since 2008.
Four Scenarios for 2023: Navigating Uncertainty6 mins read Blog | Feb 2, 2023 |
The macroeconomic landscape for 2023 is shrouded in uncertainty following a tumultuous 2022. We consider four scenarios for growth, rates and inflation and gauge their potential impact on a portfolio of global equities and U.S. bonds.
Did Low-Carbon-Transition Strategies Differentiate Energy Companies?2 mins read Quick Take | Feb 2, 2023 |
While the energy crisis has boosted the energy sector overall, individual company performance has varied markedly. Our analysis shows that businesses with above-average strategies to manage a low-carbon transition outperformed.
Value’s Lost Decade: Learning from Value Strategies’ Behavior over Two Contrasting DecadesResearch Report | Feb 1, 2023 |
Value rebounded in 2021, after more than a decade of lackluster performance. No matter what the expectation going forward, there are useful lessons to be learned from value strategies’ behavior over the past two decades.
The Performance of ESG Indexes: Year in Review6 mins read Blog | Jan 31, 2023 |
There were several dynamics that influenced the performance of ESG indexes in 2022. We examine the impact of macroeconomic and financial conditions on returns in the short- and long-term.
What Would the SEC’s Liquidity Proposal Mean for Equity Funds?5 mins read Blog | Jan 27, 2023 |
The SEC recently proposed amendments to the liquidity classification of open-end investment funds, aimed at standardizing reporting practices. But under the proposed approach, many large equity funds could exceed regulatory limits.
The Fed Mulls Climate Risk and Swifties Sue Live NationPodcast | Jan 27, 2023 |
The US central bank wants climate data from the country’s “big six” banks. It’s a telling shift and one that is echoed across several jurisdictions. We look at what this means for both banks and their investors. Then we jump into the mosh pit of ticket sales to figure out why Live Nation and Ticketmaster keep landing in the headlines.
Climate Indexes' Year in Review: The Journey Toward a Low-Carbon Transition6 mins read Blog | Jan 26, 2023 |
There have been several dynamics that influenced climate-index performance in 2022. We examine the impact of macroeconomic and financial conditions on risk, return and sectors, as well as the management of low-carbon transition risks.
The Futures of Emerging Markets Decoupled2 mins read Quick Take | Jan 25, 2023 |
Investors in emerging markets begin the year with historically low valuations and softened U.S. dollar strength. With a wide decoupling within these markets, we assess the consideration of multi-country, multi-currency or single-country futures.
Comparing Apples to Apples in Bond-Fund Liquidity5 mins read Blog | Jan 24, 2023 |
The SEC has proposed changes to standards for classifying the liquidity of fixed-income instruments held by open-end funds. The new approach may not pick up differences between funds and may not signal worsening liquidity amid market stress, however.
Factoring in VolatilityVideos and Visualisations | Jan 23, 2023
Watch Ben and Stefan discuss changing market dynamics and the factors at play.
Building the Corporate Boards of the Future6 mins read Blog | Jan 23, 2023 |
Corporate boards are key in helping companies navigate economic and social disruption. Introducing more climate-related experience, more women and appointing younger directors are three key factors that could help strengthen boards.
The Impact of China’s Reopening2 mins read Quick Take | Jan 23, 2023 |
China recently reopened its borders and eliminated COVID-19 quarantine requirements, which could conclude its three-year-long, “zero-COVID” policy. With this in mind, we examine the potential impact of this action on the markets and global economy.
The Conflict Within ESGPodcast | Jan 20, 2023 |
What if there is a water utility that saves a city millions of gallons worth of water a day, but also increases its carbon emissions by a large amount? What if a company makes a product that saves people, but it allegedly uses forced labor to do so? Do you avoid these companies and products? Are you a follower of the Ethics of Ambiguity in that the means of production is the same as the ends? In this episode, we discuss the conflicts that arise for investors, impact investors especially, due to the inherent conflicts that are present in the operations of some companies.
US Property Deals Slumped, Price Growth Withered in Q42 mins read Quick Take | Jan 19, 2023 |
Prices in December fell from a month earlier and posted a small increase compared to a year ago. The volume of U.S. property deals dropped 62%.
India Equity Futures for the World6 mins read Blog | Jan 17, 2023 |
India is the world’s fifth largest economy and one of the fastest-growing major markets. We believe that futures linked to the MSCI India Index could help capture a deeper opportunity set and manage Indian equity exposure.
2023 Trends to Watch in Real AssetsResearch Report | Jan 16, 2023
Real estate investors enter 2023 facing a very different investment landscape to the one they encountered at the beginning of 2022. Many property markets were still riding high this time last year.
Do Record Profits Change Oil?Podcast | Jan 13, 2023 |
As energy prices surged, oil and gas companies reported record profits in 2022. We discuss where this profit bonanza will end up and whether any of it will help the energy industry to transition away from fossil fuels.
The Integration of China Onshore and Offshore Equities2 mins read Quick Take | Jan 12, 2023 |
China’s equity market is segregated into different listing locations resulting in many share types. With this in mind, we examine the potential efficacy of an integrated China equity opportunity set that includes both onshore and offshore equities.
Investors Hope Something Changed on New Year’s DayPodcast | Jan 12, 2023 |
Investors look to clear the slate after a volatile year in the markets, with both global equities and bonds declining against a surge in inflation, waning economic growth, geopolitical tensions and monetary tightening. We take a look at market conditions, valuations and investor allocations as we assess what might be impactful in 2023.
Water, Water Everywhere? Well, Maybe Not for Long.Podcast | Jan 12, 2023 |
Faced with the undeniable reality of droughts and dry spells from China to the Southwestern U.S. this year, companies and their investors have begun to take the vital issue of water scarcity more seriously.
No Country for Old Firms? Revisiting Growth and Thematic Investing6 mins read Blog | Jan 11, 2023 |
Investors that were previously enthralled with growth at any price have since retreated. With this in mind, we focus on spotting key differences between growth and thematic investing, and highlight how the two can complement each another.
Understanding MSCI’s Climate MetricsResearch Report | Jan 10, 2023 |
With no “one fits all” solution, to help investors identify the most suitable climate metrics, we take an in-depth look at MSCI ESG Research’s climate metrics in terms of what they measure, how they are calculated and their potential use cases.
CRISPR Comes to ESGPodcast | Jan 6, 2023 |
This week we discuss new advances in gene editing techniques and Meta’s USD 400 million fine.
Parallel Benchmarking for Climate Alignment5 mins read Blog | Jan 5, 2023 |
Broad market-cap weighted indexes might not fully assess climate-objective alignment. We believe that an appropriate parallel benchmark could help illustrate this alignment, improve transparency and allow investors to make more informed decisions.
Markets in Focus: Investors Look to Capture Big Market Shifts6 mins read Blog | Jan 3, 2023 |
Global equities and bonds declined in 2022 against a surge in inflation, waning economic growth and monetary tightening. We highlight how factor indexes, country allocation and thematic investing can help investors capture opportunities with greater precision.
COP-erating on Biodiversity LossPodcast | Dec 16, 2022
This week we discuss the market’s embrace of biodiversity.
MSCI China A 50 Connect IndexVideos and Visualisations | Dec 15, 2022
The MSCI China A 50 Connect Index provides investors with a mega-cap-focused index with a sector-neutral approach.
Growth Investing in Private Markets: Trends and Transparency6 mins read Blog | Dec 15, 2022 |
Are quoted returns of private-equity investment comparable to those in public equity markets? To analyze this quandary, we use transaction and order-book data for timely insights into venture capital trends and relate them to public markets.
Challenges for Non-Traded Private REITs Are Not Unique5 mins read Blog | Dec 15, 2022 |
Increased talk of redemption queues has led to some seeing a dimmer future for groups with net-asset-value REITs — but their challenges are not unique. The impact of credit-market stress has hit all private vehicles for commercial real estate.
Three Scenarios for Fed Policy, Inflation and Growth4 mins read Blog | Dec 15, 2022 |
Despite two months in a row of unexpectedly low inflation, the Fed once again raised rates this week. Amid considerable uncertainty over inflation and rate policy, we analyze three scenarios for the U.S. economy and their impact on diversified portfolios.
Deforestation Risks on the Rise6 mins read Blog | Dec 14, 2022 |
Continued forest loss poses risks to companies and investors. We use MSCI’s Biodiversity Screening Metrics to help identify industries exposed to deforestation risks and flag companies for a review of risk-management practices and active engagement.
Six ESG and Climate Trends to Watch for 20237 mins read Blog | Dec 13, 2022 |
Amid a seismic shift in the ESG and climate landscape, we identify key trends companies and investors need to be cognizant of. Beyond the road to net-zero, issues such as supply chains, labor management and biodiversity could impact portfolios.
From Paris to the Pandemic: Investigating Trends in Industry Emissions5 mins read Blog | Dec 12, 2022 |
Emissions-intensity metrics can help compare the relative contributions of different holdings to a portfolio’s carbon footprint. However, understanding the reasons behind a firm’s changing emissions is key to identifying sustained reduction trends.
Global Real Estate Returns Turned Negative2 mins read Quick Take | Dec 12, 2022 |
The MSCI Global Quarterly Property Index returned -0.1% in the third quarter, though not all countries posted negative returns.
Navigating Market UncertaintyVideos and Visualisations | Dec 9, 2022
Investment industry experts share perspectives on markets, portfolio construction and the macro environment.
ESG and Climate Trends to Watch for 2023Podcast | Dec 9, 2022
This week we discuss the ESG trends that may shape the environment for investors and companies in the year ahead.
Lost and (Not) Found: Carbon Migration Out of US Public Markets6 mins read Blog | Dec 8, 2022 |
While public markets are witnessing growing climate-related regulatory proposals and voluntary commitments, climate disclosures in private markets remain limited. We examine whether carbon emissions are migrating out of U.S. public markets.While public markets are witnessing growing climate-related regulatory proposals and voluntary commitments, climate disclosures in private markets remain limited. We examine whether carbon emissions are migrating out of U.S. public markets.
Semiconductors: The Warren Buffett Effect?2 mins read Quick Take | Dec 8, 2022 |
The rebuilding of a semiconductor supply chain may generate risks as well as opportunities. With this in mind, we analyze the potential impact of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 on building more resilient U.S. semiconductor supply chains.
Inflation, the Fed and the Rocky Road Ahead2 mins read Quick Take | Dec 8, 2022 |
Good cheer currently prevails in the bond market, as unexpectedly low inflation triggered one of the sharpest rallies of the past several years. But what does the Treasury market expect for inflation and the Federal Reserve’s rate policy in the coming months?
European Commercial Real Estate's Returns Show a Slowdown2 mins read Quick Take | Dec 8, 2022 |
European commercial real estate’s returns posted their worst performance since the 2008 global financial crisis in the third quarter. The results indicate that a widespread slowdown in Europe’s commercial-property market is underway.
Has Liquidity Dried Up in Private Equity?5 mins read Blog | Dec 7, 2022 |
Investors who commit capital to private-asset funds must provide money when the fund managers buy portfolio companies, but receive it back only when the managers sell. The uncertain timing and size of these cash flows demand careful liquidity management.
SEC Liquidity Proposal: A Better Warning Signal?2 mins read Quick Take | Dec 5, 2022 |
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed liquidity-rule amendments aim to better prepare open-end investment funds for stressed conditions. But could the plan also produce unintended, counterintuitive results during volatile periods?
Emerging ESG & Climate Regulatory Trends in Asia PacificEvent | Dec 1, 2022
Growth in ESG, climate and sustainable investments throughout APAC is driving a heightened regulatory focus for both companies and on fund reporting. The total number of implemented ESG & climate regulations across APAC is estimated to have increased 4 times over the last decade, with the main goals being to reduce risks of greenwashing and guide financing to sustainable investment. At the same time as regulators around the world continue to align with Task Force on Climate-related Financial...
Signs of Momentum in Australia’s Build-to-Rent Sector2 mins read Quick Take | Nov 30, 2022 |
Domestic and overseas developers have increased construction of multifamily properties in Australia in recent years, which may help the sector become an established institutional-investment class.