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Does high-yield receive the ESG credit it deserves?

The distinction between investment-grade and high-yield issuers always has seemed rather black and white – low vs. high level default risk – but can we assume the same for these issuers’ management of ESG risks? Are all high-yield issuers also poor ESG risk managers? There is early research in the fixed-income market suggesting that credit ratings do not accurately reflect ESG risks and therefore do not serve as a sufficient proxy for that measure, but what about ESG ratings? Can a better understanding of a company’s ESG characteristics enhance fundamental credit analysis?