“The Many Shades of Green”: Asset Management and Sustainability Goals in Emerging Markets

Submissions open 15th August 2022

Climate change, environmental degradation, and ecological corrosion are the core challenges of this century. A collective effort is needed to limit the resulting declension and conserve global wellbeing. The 2030 agenda for development adopted in 2015 is a collaborative endeavor to achieve sustainable economic prosperity. Through this agreement, member states of the United Nations – developed and developing – agreed to accomplish the sustainability goals. While multiple stakeholders help support sustainable business models, the relevance of financial markets is crucial. The importance emanates from their role in economic growth (Samargandi et al., 2020), linkages with commodity and energy markets (Elgammal et al., 2021), and firm-level choices (Zhao et al., 2020). Consequently, green investment vehicles have become the center of attraction for various investors, regulatory bodies, and policymakers due to their environment-friendly and low carbon features (Flammer, 2021). Their proceeds can be attributed to climate-oriented initiatives (Naeem et al., 2021).   

While Covid-19 has disrupted many investing avenues, mutual funds constitute a significant asset class that can help towards sustainability targets in a post-pandemic setting (Mirza et al., 2020). Fund management is esoteric in emerging economies, where the relationship between market dynamics and mutual fund returns and flows is profound (Arbaa & Varon, 2018; Pirgaip & Uysal, 2021; Qureshi et al., 2018, 2019). In this context,  green funds offer valuable opportunities to support UN’s SDGs to achieve common economic, environmental, and social goals (Ji et al., 2021). According to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), sustainable investment funds doubled with over $1.7 trillion in assets under management in the past five years. The sizeable growth in volume was backed by considerable investment returns creating long-term value for the investors in green funds (Rizvi et al., 2021). However, nearly all green funds’ growth was in developed markets. Similarly, most academic literature on sustainable asset management concentrates on European and North American funds.  

Therefore, an important question arises: whether green investments have implications for asset and portfolio management in emerging economically less established markets and are subject to higher market frictions. The International Monetary Fund estimated that an additional investment of around $20 trillion is required over the next two decades to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through investing in sustainable funds1. This warrants strong fiscal and monetary policies by the governments and policymakers of developing nations. In addition, it is essential to promote investment transitions to low-carbon firms with the continued efforts of local and international investors. The fund managers should offer instruments that offer stronger risk-mitigating potential, long-term orientation, optimal risk-adjusted returns, and means to divest from fossil fuel companies. The process can be supported by regulatory and fiscal mechanisms at the fiduciary level. Given this background, the current call for papers welcomes high-quality empirical submissions that address the implications of green investments asset management in emerging markets.  

The manuscripts may address but are not limited to the following topics: 

  • Emerging markets and their orientation toward green investments. 

  • Mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and sustainable funds are paving the way for sustainability initiatives in emerging economies. 

  • The sustainable investment style and mutual funds performance. 

  • Portfolio management instruments and tools for streamlining green investments  

  • Asset management practices and the role of fund managers for incentivizing green investments in economically less developed nations. 

  • Green investments and investors’ profile.  

  • The role of asset management in mitigating climate risk. 

  • Market and volatility timing of mutual funds.  

  • The regulatory compliances and surveillance mechanisms of asset management firms in achieving sustainability goals 

  • The diversification benefits of green portfolios. 

  • Portfolio optimization and divestment of high emission firms.  

Mangaing Guest Editor 

Dr. Nawazish Mirza 

Professor of Finance  

Excelia Business School, La Rochelle, France 

[email protected] 

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4265-9519 


Associate Guest Editors 

Dr Kumail Rizvi CFA, FRM 

Associate Professor of Finance 

Lahore University of Management Sciences 

[email protected] 


Dr. Muhammad Abubakr Naeem 

Assistant Professor of Finance 

United Arab Emirates University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates 

E-mail: [email protected] 



Submissions open: 15th August 2022

Submissions deadline: 15th February 2023

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available at: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/raf.

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see: https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/journal/raf#author-guidelines.

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.


Arbaa, O., & Varon, E. (2018). The role of active management and asset allocation policy on government and corporate bond fund returns. Borsa Istanbul Review, 18(3), 167–175. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.BIR.2018.04.002 

Elgammal, M. M., Ahmed, W. M. A., & Alshami, A. (2021). Price and volatility spillovers between global equity, gold, and energy markets prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources Policy, 74, 102334. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.RESOURPOL.2021.102334 

Flammer, C. (2021). Corporate green bonds. Journal of Financial Economics, 142(2), 499–516. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.JFINECO.2021.01.010 

Ji, X., Chen, X., Mirza, N., & Umar, M. (2021). Sustainable energy goals and investment premium: Evidence from renewable and conventional equity mutual funds in the Euro zone. Resources Policy, 74, 102387. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.RESOURPOL.2021.102387 

Mirza, N., Naqvi, B., Rahat, B., & Rizvi, S. K. A. (2020). Price Reaction, Volatility Timing and Funds’ Performance during Covid-19. Finance Research Letters, 101657. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.frl.2020.101657 

Naeem, M. A., Farid, S., Ferrer, R., & Shahzad, S. J. H. (2021). Comparative efficiency of green and conventional bonds pre- and during COVID-19: An asymmetric multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis. Energy Policy, 153, 112285. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.ENPOL.2021.112285 

Pirgaip, B., & Uysal, A. (2021). Does the trading volume of asset management companies’ bonds contain information on non-performing loans? Borsa Istanbul Review. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.BIR.2021.06.009 

Qureshi, F., Kutan, A. M., Ghafoor, A., Hussain Khan, H., & Qureshi, Z. (2019). Dynamics of mutual funds and stock markets in Asian developing economies. Journal of Asian Economics, 65, 101135. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.ASIECO.2019.101135 

Qureshi, F., Kutan, A. M., Khan, H. H., & Qureshi, S. (2018). Equity fund flows, market returns, and market risk: evidence from China. Risk Management 2018 21:1, 21(1), 48–71. https://doi.org/10.1057/S41283-018-0042-3 

Rizvi, S. K. A., Naqvi, B., & Mirza, N. (2021). Is green investment different from grey? Return and volatility spillovers between green and grey energy ETFs. Annals of Operations Research, 1–30. https://doi.org/10.1007/S10479-021-04367-8/FIGURES/7 

Samargandi, N., Kutan, A. M., Sohag, K., & Alqahtani, F. (2020). Equity market and money supply spillovers and economic growth in BRICS economies: A global vector autoregressive approach. The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, 51, 101060. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.NAJEF.2019.101060 

Zhao, Y., Lee, C. F., & Yu, M. T. (2020). Does equity market timing have a persistent impact on capital structure? Evidence from China. The British Accounting Review, 52(1), 100838. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.BAR.2019.100838