December monthly news highlights
28 December 2017
SSE INITIATIVE NEWS & EVENTSArgentina’s BYMA joins exchanges committed to sustainability December 20, 2017 The Argentinian stock exchange BYMA joins nearly 70 stock exchanges worldwide committed to sharing information and working with stakeholders to promote the sustainability and transparency of capital markets. BYMA has been working progressively to strengthen its internal corporate governance practices. “The goal is to professionalize and to start upon a gradual path towards best practices and international standards, which will generate positive changes in our corporate culture,” said Ernesto Allaria, Chairman of BYMA. New Zealand fulfills commitment to guide issuers on ESG reporting December 11, 2017 The New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX Limited) published a guidance note for issuers on environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting, designed to accompany the updated Corporate Governance Code which includes voluntary reporting on ESG information. Japan Stock Exchange Group becomes latest UN SSE partner The Japan Exchange Group, Inc. (JPX) joins nearly 70 stock exchanges worldwide committed to sharing information and working with stakeholders to promote the sustainability and transparency of capital markets. Akira Kiyota, Group CEO of JPX said, “We are delighted to join the SSE initiative today. JPX has promoted sustainability initiatives on several fronts in Japan. We formulated Japan’s Corporate Governance Code, offer ESG-related indices and ETFs, and launched an infrastructure fund market.” SSE co-hosts China Social Investment Forum Week December 5, 2017 The UN SSE co-hosted the annual China Social Investment Forum (SIF) Week, bringing together over 300 sustainable finance and responsible investment leaders from various sectors to evaluate and discuss world trends and the practices of Chinese investors. The week included a seminar on sustainable stock exchanges, as well as a number of events related to green finance and green development, the belt and road initiative, green bond standards, sustainable business, ESG integration, and financial innovation. Shenzhen Stock Exchange commits to sustainable and transparent markets December 3, 2017 China’s Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) has become the SSE’s 67th Partner Exchange by committing to promote sustainable and transparent capital markets. The SZSE first released social responsibility guidelines for listed companies in 2006, guiding companies on disclosing social responsibility information and helping form the social responsibility concept. As of 2017, over 300 SZSE-listed companies have published independent social responsibility reports or environment reports.
WEBINARS AND EVENTSWorld Economic Forum Annual Meeting January 23-26, 2018 – Davos-Klosters, Switzerland The 48th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos aims to rededicate leaders to developing a shared narrative to improve the state of the world. The program, initiatives and projects of the meeting are focused on the theme of Creating a shared future in a fractured world. FT Climate Finance Summit 2018 February 6, 2018 – New York City, USA This one day conference brings together leading figures in the climate finance industry. Speakers will address key themes affecting the US market such as the growing impact of state policies. Pension funds, foundations and family offices will also share their experiences and challenges, and where they see future opportunity for generating returns whilst addressing one of the greatest challenges of humanity. IIRC Global Conference 2018 in collaboration with ICGN February 28-March 1, 2018 – Tokyo, Japan This year’s conference will be hosted in Tokyo in partnership with IIRC, ICGN, JICPA and JPX. At a time of significant progress to enhance long-term corporate value in Japan, the conference will explore how to accelerate governance and stewardship reforms and consider how to mitigate impediments to company and investor engagement efforts. Over 300 governance commentators from around the world including global investors, corporate executives and professional advisors will join the meeting to share their experience over a two-day program. PRI in Person 2018 September 12-14, 2018 – San Francisco, USA PRI in Person is the leading global conference on responsible investment, offering a platform for PRI signatories and other investment professionals to learn, network and collaborate in person over a three day period. The annual event allows attendees to discuss topical issues and share experiences from their own organisation and region with peers from around the world. UNCTAD World Investment Forum 2018 October 22-25, 2018 – Geneva, Switzerland Established in 2008, the UNCTAD World Investment Forum (WIF) is the pre-eminent global forum for investment policy-making. It is a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue on investment in sustainable development and strives to achieve actionable outcomes for the world’s investment related challenges. Pre-registration is now open here.
CONSULTATIONSWorld Benchmarking Alliance consultation February-April 2018 The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) founding partners have launched a series of global and regional consultations, as well as an online consultation aimed at gathering inputs and insights on the WBA’s objectives and governance structure, as well as identifying and prioritizing critical intersections between industries and the SDGs. Upcoming in-person roundtables will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Cape Town, Nairobi, Mumbai, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam, and Washington, DC from February through April 2018. There is also an ongoing open online consultation. Public consultation opens for new V3.0 of the Climate Bonds Standard Deadline: February 18, 2018 The draft of the Climate Bonds Standard Version 3.0 (V3.0) has opened for a 60-day public consultation. Comment is sought from green bond issuers, investors, verifiers and other stakeholders. The V3.0 builds on the collaboration with the Green Bond Principles (GBP) to reinforce similarities in structure and terminology. Financial Reporting Council consultation on revised UK Corporate Governance Code Deadline: February 28, 2018 The revised Code is built on an updated set of principles emphasizing the value of good corporate governance to the sustainable growth of a company. The consultation also includes questions to inform the future direction of the UK Stewardship Code, which will be published for consultation in late 2018.
GENERAL NEWSBoursa Kuwait announces sustainability action plan December 25, 2017 Boursa Kuwait announced its action plan to promote sustainability internally and among its listed issuers, ensuring that the exchange meets its commitment to the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative. Tokyo Stock Exchange: new platform for green and social bonds December 21, 2017 As part of a continuing effort to promote green and social impact bonds in Japan, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. (TSE), a member of the Japan Stock Exchange Group, will be launching a dedicated platform in late January 2018 that will allow issuers to post information about their green and social impact bonds directly on the TSE website. Malaysia’s Securities Commissions unveils guidelines on SRI funds December 21, 2017 Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) issued guidelines for SRI funds that are aimed at facilitating and encouraging their growth. The guidelines, which are effective immediately, apply to products within the SC’s oversight, including unit trust funds, real estate investment trusts, exchange-traded funds, and venture capital and private equity funds. New principle on CSR added to principles of corporate governance of the LuxSE December 18, 2017 This new principle requires companies listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange Bourse to disclose their corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy. Companies have to integrate CSR aspects into their long-term value creation strategy and will have to describe how the CSR approach contributes to this goal. They are also required to present CSR-related information in a report that assesses the sustainability of the activities and provides clear and transparent non-financial information. Boards of directors will have to regularly address and review the non-financial risks of the companies, including social and environmental risks. Boursa Kuwait officially joins IOSCO December 16, 2017 Boursa Kuwait joined IOSCO as an official member. Since its establishment in 2014, Boursa Kuwait has made significant strides including being promoted to an emerging market by FTSE Russell. The exchange claims to operate on three main areas including transparency, efficiency and accessibility. UNEP report finds growing momentum for green, sustainable finance December 12, 2017 At the One Planet Summit in Parus, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) released a report titled Accelerating financial sector action on sustainable development that finds clear momentum towards a sustainable financial system, with over 20 financial centers now active in sustainable, green finance. Long Term Stock Exchange chooses IEX to launch new IPO venue December 7, 2017 The Long Term Stock Exchange (LTSE) has chosen IEX’s stock exchange platform to host its budding marketplace, focused on promoting and protecting long term value creation within public companies. The company plans to do this through innovative listing standards that use additional disclosure and governance to incent long term value creation for both companies and investors. IEX is also a new generation stock exchange, funded and backed by a consortium of long term investors including mutual funds, hedge funds and family offices. SASB creates sector advisory groups and releases annual State of Disclosure report December 6, 2017 The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) announced it will create Sector Advisory Groups across 11 sectors to provide feedback on and further inform SASB’s codified standards. The move to create Sector Advisory Groups comes as SASB released its second annual State of Disclosure Report, which highlighted both improving trends as well as opportunities for improvement.
ESG INDICES AND PRODUCTSInsightShares Global Sustainability Leaders ETF planned December 28, 2017 The InsightShares Global Sustainability Leaders ETF will target companies that are signatories of the UN Global Compact. These companies have committed to supporting the UN’s goals in areas including human rights, labor, the environment and fighting corruption through their operations and strategies. Nigeria issues Climate Bonds Certified Sovereign Green Bond December 20, 2017 Nigeria has become the first nation to issue a Climate Bonds Certified Sovereign Green Bond, the first African nation to issue a sovereign green bond and only the fourth nation in the world to issue after Poland, France, and Fiji. Barclays launches new range of green finance products December 14, 2017 Barclays launched a range of green finance products to help its corporate clients fund low carbon projects and investments. The new range includes loans, deposits, asset finance and innovation finance for accelerating green investment in firms, from small businesses to large corporates. Goldman Sachs is starting a socially responsible ETF December 12, 2017 The Goldman Sachs JUST U.S. Large Cap Equity EFT will invest only in U.S. companies that engage in “just business behavior” as defined by the JUST Capital Foundation. BNP Paribas cross-lists US and EM sustainability ETFs on Deutsche Börse December 8, 2017 BNP Paribas has cross-listed two new equity ETFs on Deutsche Börse’s Xetra and Frankfurt exchanges, providing exposure to companies listed in the US and emerging markets. LSE welcomes Indian Railway Finance Corporation’s first green bond December 7, 2017 Indian Railway Finance Corporation’s (IRFC) issued its first green bond to finance or refinance infrastructure for dedicated freight railway lines and public passenger transport. The ten year green bond raised $500 million and is listed on London Stock Exchange (LSE)’s new International Securities Market. BetaShares launches Australian ESG fund December 6, 2017 The BetaShares Australian Sustainability ETF (FAIR) screens out Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) listed companies engaged in the fossil fuel industry as well as a number of other environmental and social concerns.
MANAGEMENT NEWSDeutsche Börse appoints UniCredit banker as new CEO Deutsche Börse has appointed Theodor Weimer as its new chief executive. Weimer is currently the head of HypoVereinsbank, the German arm of Italian-headquartered banking group UniCredit. He will take over from Deutsche Börse’s chief executive Carsten Kengeter, who has announced his resignation and is due to leave the company at the end of the year.
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.