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Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Will i-Sheep soon become Nothing-Sheep? + ESG funds aren’t as appealing as they once were

Are Apple and Samsung finally getting a competitor on the same level? A consumer electronics startup weirdly called Nothing is emerging in the tech world, promising to deliver a new mobile phone that can compete with the two powerhouses that are Apple and Samsung.

Nothing has so far gathered USD 200 mn in investments from the likes of Alphabet’s venture capital arm, EQT Ventures, and former Apple designer Tony Fadell, reports the Financial Times. Nothing’s CEO Carl Pei previously co-founded Chinese smartphone brand OnePlus and now believes “people are yearning for something new.” The new company’s first smartphone will be called Phone (1) — again with the weird naming — was revealed for the first today. The device has a transparent back to reveal its inner electronics components and runs on the Android operating system.

Retail investors aren’t buying into ESG funds anymore. You can thank greenwashing: ESG funds are not appealing as they once were, with flows significantly slowing. Investments into ESG funds dropped 36% during 1Q2022 and then again in April, Bloomberg writes, citing data provided by Morningstar Inc. “It's the worst showing since before the pandemic began and was followed by another decline in April,” Bank of America analysts reportedly said.

Stretching the definition of ESG is putting them off: While, sure, in the midst of current bear market investments are slowing in general, investors in ESG are losing faith that asset managers are really investing ethically.. “I felt like I’d almost been had because I thought I was buying into the more ethical side of this… And then you start looking, you’re thinking, why is Facebook in there?” one investor told Bloomberg.

This comes as the SEC looks to crackdown on greenwashing: Last month, it was reported that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is preparing to crack down on investment funds that claim to be “ESG,” “sustainable,” or “low-carbon.”

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