Ethical investments have never been hotter. Assets under management in all investment strategies governed by environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles grew more last year than in the preceding decade.

While many investors will be familiar with the US$1 trillion ($1.3 trillion) green bonds market, issuance of other debt securities designed around ESG considerations has been gathering pace.

For example, new social bond issues totalled US$165 billion in 2020, up from US$18 billion in 2019. Sustainability bond issuance hit US$75 billion in 2020, from US$43 billion a year earlier. Sales of both instruments are on track to more than double this year, according to Bloomberg data.

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