Investment Insights

US municipal bonds can be considered a natural fit for ESG investment

US municipal bonds
Municipals: ESG features and benefits
Municipal bonds often finance projects devoted to services and infrastructure intended to improve communities and the lives of residents.
The social and environmental outcomes of municipal bond financings are often measurable and significant, a win for many ESG investors seeking impact.
Taxpayers benefit from municipal bonds through tax exemptions and issuing governments through reduced financing costs.

When seeking to build an ESG-focused portfolio, fixed income investors often look first to the corporate sector. The corporate sector offers plentiful data and information and ESG ratings on specific securities. While the US municipal sector tends to be less widely recognized in the ESG investing space, many of the ideals of responsible investing are embedded in most US municipal bonds (from here, referred to as municipal bonds). Invesco Fixed Income believes this natural alignment provides an opportunity for investors to combine potentially robust returns with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals.

We know many of our European clients have clear ESG goals. We are also mindful that our European insurance clients are working to adhere to the Solvency II directive. This paper explains how municipal bonds can help European investors meet ESG investment objectives while at the same time offering attractive yields and potential advantages under Solvency II. Because municipal issuers focus on social services and communitybased projects, municipal bonds can be considered in many ways “a natural fit” with ESG investing. At the same time, taxable municipals can offer attractive relative value versus corporate bonds (even after hedging costs) and higher capital-adjusted yields compared to other types of bonds under Solvency II.

Investment risks

  • The value of investments and any income will fluctuate (this may partly be the result of exchange rate fluctuations) and investors may not get back the full amount invested.

Important information

  • All data is as at 30 April 2021 unless otherwise stated.

    This document is marketing material and is not intended as a recommendation to invest in any particular asset class, security or strategy. Regulatory requirements that require impartiality of investment/investment strategy recommendations are therefore not applicable nor are any prohibitions to trade before publication. The information provided is for illustrative purposes only, it should not be relied upon as recommendations to buy or sell securities.

    Where individuals or the business have expressed opinions, they are based on current market conditions, they may differ from those of other investment professionals, they are subject to change without notice and are not to be construed as investment advice.