Environmental, Social and Governance – the definition of “ESG” investing – is becoming an element among activist-minded investors seeking to achieve a balance between profiteering capitalism and social consciousness. So much so, that many institutional and high net worth family offices are even becoming 100% ESG invested.
The phenomenon has become so ubiquitous that fund managers are stumbling around blindly groping for anything they can credibly affix the “ESG” anagram to and thus inoculate themselves against criticism while protecting their firms’ image.
As is often the case with anything to do with capital markets, there is a lot of innovative definition going on to suit such investors. After a long battle between France, who derives 70 percent of its energy from nuclear power, overcame resistance from Germany, who just announced the phase-out of its last two remaining nuclear plants, the European Union announced that it include both nuclear energy and natural gas in its list of “green” investments, clearing their inclusion by extension into ESG portfolios.
Never mind that the ongoing threat of Fukushima-like meltdowns persists, and that the half life of most spent uranium fuel rods is almost one million years. Never mind that natural gas is a major contributor to Greenhouse Gas emissions. Where the money goes, morality follows, in the present age.
That being said, what does a real ESG investment look like?
First and foremost, any company purporting to be ESG should, at the very least, be part of the Net Zero carbon objective that is becoming omnipresent in government mandates (EU hypocrisy notwithstanding).
The company is installing solar-powered (Environmental) wireless transmission towers across rural areas of developing African nations such as Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cameroon, Sudan, Mali and Sierra Leone. In most of their service areas, this is the first time broadband data has been available, catalyzing a paradigm shift in economic development in these mostly poorer regions (Social).
NuRAN finances the tower site installations with loans from regional banks, further supporting local economic momentum. And the company is doing this in partnership with some of the biggest names in wireless: Orange SA (NYSE:ORAN).
Orange provides the wireless broadband networks to the subscribers to the NuRAN towers and expects to expand that partnership throughout Africa and elsewhere in 2022 and beyond.
Space-Communication Ltd. (more commonly known as Spacecom) (TLV: SCC, OTCMKTS: SPMMF), the Israeli satellite communications company that beams broadband across Africa and Middle East, went so far as to purchase 9.3 percent of NuRAN Wireless for CA$4 million.
So while there are lots of fake ESG-labelled companies circling pension fund, institutional, and wealth managers in the investment landscape, NuRAN is the real deal.
Especially from a capital structure perspective, since the company consolidated its share capitalization and now has below 50 million shares outstanding on a fully diluted basis.
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