December/January monthly news highlights

29 January 2019

This month includes news from IOSCO, ESMA,SCA, Egypt, Budapest, Botswana, Costa Rica, Nigeria, Tadawul, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Nordics, Kuwait, Italy and more. Monthly news highlights are compiled by the SSE to give an overview of the capital markets sustainability news from that month.
 
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SSE INITIATIVE NEWS & EVENTS

SSE serves on The Egyptian Exchange’s International Advisory Committee 29 January 2019 The Egyptian Exchange (EGX), hosted the first meeting of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) after reactivation, and invited the Coordinator of the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative Dr. Anthony Miller to join this committee. As a founding SSE Partner Exchange, EGX has worked with the SSE to help increase transparency and sustainability in Egyptian markets since 2012. EGX invited the SSE as a member of the IAC to provide further insight to the Board and Management Team on how the Egyptian Market can further enhance sustainability. IOSCO creates Sustainable Finance Network, releases statement on ESG disclosure 18 January 2019 IOSCO, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, released a statement on disclosure of ESG matters by issuers on 18 January 2019. The statement sets out the importance for issuers of considering the inclusion of environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters, when disclosing information material to investors’ decisions. “IOSCO emphasizes that ESG matters, though sometimes characterized as non-financial, may have a material short-term and long-term impact on the business operations of the issuers as well as on risks and returns for investors and their investment and voting decisions.” ADX joins United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative to promote sustainability and transparency 16 January 2019 Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) announced that it is now a Partner Exchange of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative. Joining the SSE is a voluntary commitment made by the exchange to promote sustainability and transparency in capital markets. Budapest Stock Exchange becomes UN SSE Partner Exchange 11 January 2019 Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE), the second largest stock exchange in Central and Eastern Europe by market capitalization and liquidity, signed a commitment to promote sustainability and transparency in its market, making it the newest member of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative. Botswana Stock Exchange fulfils commitment to publish guidance on ESG reporting December 2018 Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), a partner exchange of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative (SSE) since 2016, fulfilled its commitment to publish guidance for its listed companies on reporting environmental, social and governance (ESG) information to investors. National Stock Exchange of Costa Rica Launch Sustainable Voluntary Guidance for issuers December 2018 The National Stock Exchange of Costa Rica has created a Sustainable Voluntary Guidance to help issuers in preparing and disclosing information about the EGS criteria, in alignment with the SSE’s campaign to close the gap on ESG reporting guidance from stock exchanges. Nigeria fulfills commitment to publish guidance on sustainability reporting, makes mandatory December 2018 The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), a United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Partner Exchange, has published Sustainability Disclosure Guidelines for the Nigerian market. The publication of these new guidelines fulfills a commitment made by the Nigerian Stock Exchange, as part of the SSE’s campaign to close the gap of environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure guidance by stock exchanges. SSE Launches new searchable database of stock exchanges’ sustainability activities December 2018 The United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative has launched a new user-friendly searchable database to provide easier access to sustainability information on over 90 stock exchanges worldwide. The new database interface allows users to filter the SSE’s Fact Sheets for particular activities, and gives users a quick view of what markets provide particular sustainability instruments such as mandatory ESG disclosure or a sustainability themed bond segments. Tadawul joins United Nation partnership programme for sustainability 17 December 2018 Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange, Tadawul, announced its voluntary commitment to promoting sustainable and transparent capital markets in becoming a United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative Partner Stock Exchange. Tadawul is the sole stock exchange in Saudi Arabia and lists over $500bn in market capitalization. Sixth China SIF launches Chinese translation of SSE Regulator Guidance 4 December 2018 The United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative and SynTao Green Finance launched the SSE’s report “How securities regulators can support the Sustainable Development Goals” in China, translated to Chinese, at the 6th China Social Investment Forum (SIF) Annual Conference. EVENT: 2019 Ring the Bell for Gender Equality March 2019 In celebration of International Women’s Day (8 March 2019), the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative is pleased to announce the continuation of stock exchanges around the world hosting a bell ringing ceremony to raise awareness of the pivotal role the private sector can play in advancing gender equality to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 5.  

WEBINARS AND EVENTS

Climate Bonds Initiative Annual Conference 5-7 March 2019 The global Climate Bonds Conference is a must-attend event for anyone looking to play a role in shaping and implementing the green finance agenda across the globe. The March 2019 conference will explore how to scale-up the green bonds market – see the full agenda here, and register here.  

CONSULTATIONS

ESMA consults on measures to promote sustainability in EU capital markets Deadline: 19 February 2019 The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has launched three public consultations on sustainable finance initiatives to support the European Commission’s (EC) Sustainability Action Plan in the areas of securities tradinginvestment funds and credit rating agencies (CRAs). More information can be found here, and contributions should be submitted on the ESMA website. UK’s Investment Association to launch consultation on ESG fund classification Deadline: 1 March 2019 The Investment Association has launched an industry-wide consultation on sustainability and responsible investment. The UK trade body that represents asset managers is seeking views on key aspects of environmental, social and governance-based investment as it seeks to help savers and investors navigate the rapidly growing sector.  

STOCK EXCHANGE NEWS

UK-Nigeria CFA Workshop closes with renewed commitment to upscale green finance in Nigeria 28 January 2019 The UK and Nigeria Climate Finance Accelerator workshop closed yesterday at the Securities and Exchange Commission Zonal office in Lagos. A four day conference from 22-25 January brought together stakeholders from the financial institutions, policy makers, project developers and was sponsored by the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG). Abu Dhabi Securities Exchanges organises two workshops on sustainability for listed companies 27 January 2019 In line with its ongoing efforts to adopt and support sustainable practices across the Exchange, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), in collaboration with a global expert house, has organized two workshops on sustainability for its listed companies under the title “Accelerating Sustainability in Listed Companies. Meeting Investor Needs on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) information”. Nigerian Stock Exchange commemorates 2019 International Day of Education 24 January 2019 The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), joined the rest of the world on 24 January 2019 to commemorate the first-ever International Day of Education with a special excursion programme and a Closing Gong ceremony on the floor of the Exchange in Lagos. The event featured students from Slum2School Africa Initiative, Bridge Academies, and Dialogue School Otta, who visited The Exchange to learn about the capital market, Sustainable Development Goals and interact with the stockbrokers. Qatar Stock Exchange launches online ESG platform 23 December 2018 Qatar Stock Exchange is pleased to announce the launch of its online ‘Qatar Stock Exchange Sustainability and ESG Platform’. This platform is designed to accelerate the objectives of the QSE Guidance on ESG reporting launched in December 2016 to support listed companies report on key Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) indicators. The online ESG platform allows all Qatari listed companies to login, upload their sustainability reports and submit their sustainability data on the QSE’s 34 ESG indicators. Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) signs MoU with King Khaled Foundation 20 December 2018 Tadawul signs a memorandum of understanding with the King Khaled Foundation, aiming to improve practices for environmental, social and corporate governance in the Saudi Capital Market. The main objectives are to collaborate in offering Sustainability Leading Practices (SLP) training, and to encourage Saudi listed companies to improve their sustainability policies and practices. Nasdaq Nordic launches ESG Data Portal 17 December 2018 Nasdaq has announced the launch of an ESG Data Portal to support sustainable investments across its Nordic markets. The Nasdaq ESG Data Portal is a centralized distribution point that offers investors access to standardised ESG data from Nordic listed companies, while listed companies are offered a platform to showcase their ESG data.  The ESG Data Portal is built upon the Nasdaq ESG Reporting Guide, and serves as a bridge between issuers and investors focused on ESG issues. Boursa Kuwait hosts sustainability engagement session for listed firms 12 December 2018 Highlighting its commitment to promoting sustainable business practices in Kuwait’s capital markets, Boursa Kuwait recently concluded the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) engagement session for the fourth quarter of 2018 in collaboration with Sustainability Excellence, a leading provider of sustainability and ESG strategy and disclosure services in Kuwait and the Middle East. Dubai Financial Market updates its Shari’ah standards to cater to green sukuk 11 December 2018 The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) has updated versions of its Shari’ah standards. In a statement, the DFM stated that the main updates of the standards address the green economy that focuses on sustainability and environmental protection. The updates cover in detail the green instruments such as Sukuk and shares as well as green investment funds.  

REGULATOR NEWS

UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority launches Capital Market Sustainability Plan 16 January 2019 SCA launches its capital market sustainability plan at the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum following discussion with industry actors. “The plan is centered on seven pillars and reflects a financial and regulatory framework that suits capital market partners, thus achieving the desired results and promoting green and sustainable investment," Dr. Obaid Saif Al Zaabi. European Commission Technical Expert Group publishes report on climate-related disclosures 10 January 2019 The TEG published its report on climate-related disclosures, which corresponds to task four of the TEG’s mandate to “Develop climate-related metrics in the context of its work on an EU taxonomy allowing improving disclosure on climate-related information and publish the outcome in a report.” The European Commission will take this report into consideration when it updates the non-binding guidelines on non-financial disclosure that accompany the Non-Financial Reporting Directive.  

ESG INDICES AND PRODUCTS

FTSE Russell index to track Chinese green bonds launched 22 January 2019 FTSE Russell, the global index, analytics and data provider, has launched a new index series tracking Chinese green bonds. The FTSE Chinese (Onshore CNY) Green Bond Index Series will benchmark securities whose proceeds are specifically used to finance climate or environmental projects in mainland China. Borsa Italiana's green segment sees continued growth with Enel €1bn Green Bond 21 January 2019 Enel's new €1 billion green bond is being included in Borsa Italiana's segment dedicated to green and/or social bonds, which was created to offer institutional and retail investors the opportunity to identify those instruments whose proceeds are used to finance projects with specific benefits or impacts of an environmental and/or social nature. Nasdaq Iceland welcomes first green bond issuer 27 December 2018 Nasdaq Iceland has welcomed the City of Reykjavik as its first green bond issuer on the Exchange’s sustainable bond market. The bond was issued on 17 December and is sized at ISK 4.1 billion with a maturity of 30 years. Reykjavik intends to issue further bonds in the bond class in the coming years and add market making services.
FTSE Russell extends ESG across asset classes 13 December 2018 FTSE Russell has launched new green real estate indexes and is also aiming to introduce environmental, social and governance indexes in fixed income.
 
EBRD presents recent expansion of its green bond investment work at COP24 10 December 2018 The EBRD presented its plans for a €250 million direct investment framework for Green and Sustainability Bonds targeted at financial institutions at an event during international climate talks in Katowice, Poland. Over the next three years, the EBRD framework, approved in September, is expected to mobilise private sector capital investments of a further €1 billion, and aims to double the supply of Green and Sustainability Bonds issued by financial institutions across the regions where the bank invests.ETF Global launches data and metrics focused on ESG sustainability 6 December 2018 ETF Global announces new datasets dedicated to environmental, social and governance ("ESG") factors. "The tremendous growth within ESG, combined with a proven partner in Confluence Analytics, will allow us to add value to our customers in the ESG space. It has become an important part of how investors make decisions and Confluence's predictive metrics only underscore that importance," said Matthew Litchfield, CFA and Senior Research Analyst at ETF Global.FTSE Russell and Sustainalytics partner to create new ESG indexes 5 December 2018 FTSE Russell and Sustainalytics, a global leader in ESG and corporate governance and ratings, have announced a new strategic partnership to serve the rapidly growing demand for ESG integration into investment strategies. Through this partnership, FTSE Russell and Sustainalytics will work together to develop new FTSE Russell ESG indexes using the new Sustainalytics ESG Risk Ratings to meet rising institutional and retail investor demand for ESG solutions.  

MANAGEMENT NEWS

Flavia Micilotta appointed director of Luxembourg Green Exchange 10 January 2019 The Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE) is further growing its sustainable finance expertise by appointing Flavia Micilotta as Director of the Luxembourg Green Exchange (LGX), the leading exchange platform for sustainable financial instruments. Flavia Micilotta will be in charge of advancing the reach of the LGX platform by broadening the scope of services offered to issuers and investors. Network for Sustainable Financial Markets restructures board, defines new organisational structure & purpose 17 December 2018 The Network for Sustainable Financial Markets (NSFM) has announced that it will restructure its current organizational design and purpose, and close the US corporate structure, to better support the next generation of sustainable finance leaders.

About the SSE

The SSE initiative is a UN Partnership Programme organised by UNCTAD, the UN Global Compact, UNEP FI and the PRI. The SSE’s mission is to provide a global platform for exploring how exchanges, in collaboration with investors, companies (issuers), regulators, policymakers and relevant international organizations, can enhance performance on ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) issues and encourage sustainable investment, including the financing of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The SSE seeks to achieve this mission through an integrated programme of conducting evidence-based policy analysis, facilitating a network and forum for multi-stakeholder consensus-building, and providing technical assistance and advisory services.