Columnists

Why ethical investing can bear good returns

Muslims  pray outside Jamia Mosque, Nairobi,  last Friday. Investing with conscience may not necessarily mean sacrificing returns. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG
Muslims pray outside Jamia Mosque, Nairobi, last Friday. Investing with conscience may not necessarily mean sacrificing returns. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG 

Two weeks ago, the East African Breweries Limited (EABL) #ticker:EABL listed the final series of its corporate bond complete with a (fixed-rate) 14.17 per cent icing on top. And as many celebrated the first corporate bond issue in the year, the same week also witnessed another celebration; the start of Ramadhan.

Pondering on the remarkable concurrence of events, this coincidence led me to a much nuanced subject: ethical investing. Knowing that our Muslim friends would have never touched the bond, it seemed logical to conclude that the so-called ethical investing comes at a cost.

But is it so? Are socially responsible investors just do-gooders doomed to miss-out on stellar opportunities? Or do they eventually win in the end? Great questions and here are my three cents on the table

For a long time, investing with a conscience has often been linked to accepting low returns.