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Business trends

Southeast Asian companies jump on impact investment bandwagon

Businesses grow conscious of own environment and human rights records

An Olam pepper farm in Vietnam: The Singaporean commodities trader plans to sell off business units that are unpopular with international investors concerned with sustainability.

BANGKOK -- Businesses in Southeast Asia are taking action to improve their track records on environmental and labor practices as socially responsible investment takes hold in global financial markets.

Global investment focusing on environmental, social and governance issues topped $30 trillion in 2018, and Asian companies are eager to claim their share. Asian stock exchanges have also taken note, with 10 exchanges in eight countries requiring listed companies to report on ESG investments. That is more exchanges than in Europe, where sustainability-linked lending is more common.

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