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Online Microfinance Evaluation tool will help validate the industry, says AAA
Socially responsible investors are welcoming the launch of a new web-based analytics platform specifically designed to evaluate microfinance funds, claims AAA.
Luxembourg-based LuxFLAG and US-based micro financing ratings agency MicroRate, have launched Luminis, which is the first product of its kind. Alternative investment advocacy group, AAA, said its launch follows a period of growth in the microfinance market and for socially responsible investments in general.
The online tool was revealed at the Luxembourg Fund Industry’s Responsible Investing Conference on 10 May. The platform features reports and profiles of the various funds, together with a range of research tools and information to help investors get to grips with impact investing. The team behind Luminis looks at factors including risk, performance and social impact. This data is then presented to users through in-depth fund reports and profiles.
AAA’s analysis partner, Anthony Johnson, welcomed the new tool stating: “The market for socially and environmentally responsible investment products is growing all the time and platforms like this help to enhance the validity of the sector.
“Investors are beginning to realise that making ethically sound investments and seeing healthy returns are not mutually exclusive.”
The CEO of MicroRate, Sebastian von Stauffenberg, meanwhile, stated, “We are excited to see how Luminis will facilitate investment into microfinance, ultimately improving financial access for billions of micro-entrepreneurs around the world."
AAA supports a range of impact investing options and is particularly keen to promote environmentally responsible alternative investments like sustainable forestry investment through firms like Greenwood Management. Greenwood operates a number of sustainable plantations in Brazil, helping to provide an alternative source of timber products for export and charcoal for the country's burgeoning steel industry.
Those who invest in Greenwood’s plantations receive a tangible asset in exchange for their cash in the form of a section of plantation land. Mr Johnson added “Timberland investments are popular at the moment as demand for forestry products in developing countries is rising alongside their economic strength.”
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