June News Highlights
3 July 2020
SSE INITIATIVE NEWS & EVENTSNew SSE ESG Guidance Database 16 June 2020 SSE launched its new ESG Guidance Database which contains a comprehensive list of all stock exchange ESG guidance documents in the world. The database is now updated to include an analysis of major ESG reporting instruments referenced in stock exchange guidance documents. IFC and SSE Host Corporate Transparency Webinar to Help Asia Pacific Firms Boost Resilience, Attract Capital 18 June 2020 IFC and SSE hosted a webinar on the importance of corporate disclosure and transparency to help companies in Asia Pacific attract financing and boost their resilience amid challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. UNCTAD WIR 2020 Looks at Sustainable Finance 25 June 2020 The World Investment Report, now in its thirtieth year, includes a special chapter, on investment in the Sustainable Development Goals. Capital markets that are aligned with sustainable development can be instrumental in filling the financing gap for the SDGs. SSE joins GRI, SASB, and Arabesque for Data & Sustainability Summit 30 June 2020 “We applaud Crux Informatics for organizing this event and bringing together a broad range of experts on ESG issues,” said Anthony Miller, Coordinator of the SSE initiative, who participated in the panel that explored the path to standardization in ESG investing.
STOCK EXCHANGE NEWSExchange in Focus: Bahrain Bourse issues ESG reporting guidelines for issuers 17 June 2020 The voluntary reporting guidance aims to assist listed companies to integrate ESG issues in their reporting cycle and better meet the demands of institutional investors for material ESG information. Exchange in Focus: Euronext launches suite of ESG products 19 June 2020 Introducing new Euronext ESG 80 index and derivatives alongside aligning Europe’s leading Low Carbon 100 index to the Paris Agreement. Expanding Euronext Green Bonds to ESG Bonds. Launching new ESG Services to support listed companies in their ESG transition. Exchange in Focus: Korea Exchange launches a sustainability bond segment 22 June 2020 The issuing proceeds of SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) bonds are used for projects that are eco-friendly or generate social benefits, and they can be green, social, and sustainable bonds. Exchange in Focus: BMV Launches a New ESG Index 24 June 2020 Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV) together with S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI) announced the debut of the S&P/BMV Total Mexico ESG Index. Exchange in Focus: HKEX to Launch New Sustainable and Green Exchange 25 June 2020 HKEX announced plans to launch the HKEX Sustainable and Green Exchange, ‘STAGE’. This new information platform is the first-of-its kind in Asia, and will act as a central hub for data and information on sustainable and green finance investments in the region. Exchange in Focus: Digital Italian Sustainability Week 29 June 2020 From 29th June to 3rd July, more than 40 Italian companies - more than 50% of the market capitalization - will have virtual meetings with both domestic and international primary investors to discuss their sustainability strategies. Exchange in Focus: ADX introduces its first sustainability report 30 June 2020 ADX joined the SSE in 2019 and this Sustainable Report reinforces its pledge to the UN to promote sustainability and transparency in capital markets. Nasdaq President And Chief Executive Officer Adena Friedman Believes Now Is The Time To Build A More Inclusive Economy 19 June 2020 Nasdaq, along with other companies, are increasingly taking a leading role in responding to social issues, reflecting a rise in stakeholder capitalism, the belief that the purpose of a corporation is to serve the interests of all stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders and communities. NSE Hosted CEOs Of Global Securities Exchanges In ‘special’ Webinar June 2020 The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) hosted a special webinar on the impact of COVID-19 on the global capital market and the resilience of securities exchanges in supporting economies, on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. London Stock Exchange Group backs initial COVID-19 donation with additional funding 16 June 2020 LSEG announced that it has donated an additional LKR 3.0 million to a project to convert the Kattankudy Base Hospital into a COVID-19 isolation and treatment hospital. IFC – World Bank Group and African Development Bank join Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network 17 June 2020 Nasdaq announced the addition of two of the world’s largest issuers of social bonds to Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network, a global and publicly available platform designed to improve transparency in the market for green, social and sustainability bonds. Warsaw Stock Exchange and EBRD to advance ESG reporting for companies and investors 30 June 2020 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Warsaw Stock Exchange (GPW) have partnered to support Polish and CEE listed companies with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting. BME: Lighthouse Launches An ESG Rating Methodology For Small And Medium Companies 29 June 2002 Lighthouse, an initiative by Instituto de Analistas Financieros (IEAF) that is supported by BME, will introduce the first ESG rating for small and medium-sized companies in the coming weeks.
REGULATOR NEWSSEC Philippines backs ‘social bonds’ to help fund recovery efforts 30 June 2020 The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it is encouraging bond issuers to tap the social bond market to help support economic recovery efforts. IOSCO Reports on its role in Sustainable Finance and that of Securities Regulators 03 June 2020 The Board of the International Organization Of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published its final report on ‘Sustainable Finance and the Role of Securities Regulators and IOSCO’ in April 2020. In its report, IOSCO noted that sustainability and climate-related issues raise important challenges to securities regulators in meeting their core regulatory objectives of protecting investors, reducing systemic risk, and maintaining fair, efficient and transparent markets. ESMA Responds To European Commission Consultation On Revision Of NFRD 11 June 2020 ESMA, the EU’s securities markets regulator, has submitted a response to the European Commission’s (EC) consultation on a revision of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). The response recommends standardising disclosure requirements, widening the range of companies required to report and ensuring consistency between legislative initiatives on sustainable finance.
ESG INDICES AND PRODUCTSGreen & Social Bond Principles publish Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles and update the Social Bond Principles and other key guidance 09 June 2020 These are voluntary guidelines for sustainability-linked bonds (SLBs) defined as forward-looking performance-based bond instruments where the issuer is committing to future improvements in sustainability outcomes within a predefined timeline. Brazil launches green bond program for railways 10 June 2020 Three railways, which will have operating licenses auctioned, are expected to be certified as sustainable projects by the British organization Climate Bond Initiative (CBI), Brazil’s Infrastructure Ministry said in a statement. S&P Global Ratings offers new Framework Alignment Opinions under enhanced Green Evaluation service 09 June 2020 This means that, for the first time, the credit ratings agency can provide second party opinions on not just the “greenness” of labelled and non-labelled green financial instruments, but also the alignment of entities’ frameworks for issuing such transactions to global market guidelines. Enel included for the first time in MSCI ESG Leaders Indexes 17 June 2020 Enel has been included for the first time in the MSCI ESG Leaders Indexes following the annual review carried out by the leading Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) research and index provider MSCI of its sustainability indices. ESG investors get their heads around social risks 04 June 2020 Considerations about what sustainable investors call “social” risks, part of the environmental, social and governance (esg) basket of factors have grown popular in recent years. Climate change and corporate scandals have led investors to focus on the “e” and the “g”. The pandemic brings the “s” into the limelight. BlackRock Bets on Increased ESG Enthusiasm With New ETFs 18 June 2020 The asset manager launched several ETFs that track companies using environmental, social and governance criteria on Thursday. Among the changes BlackRock’s chief outlined in his January letter was making sustainability integral to portfolio construction and risk management. Majority of ESG funds outperform wider market over 10 years 13 June 2020 Close to six out of 10 sustainable funds delivered higher returns than equivalent conventional funds over the past decade, according to a study that undermines claims that investing based on environmental, social and governance principles hampers performance.
CONSULTATIONUNDP launches standards for bond issuers and private equity funds seeking SDG impact Drafts available for comment and consultation through 31 July 2020 The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released for consultation Standards to guide private equity fund managers and bond issuers in directing activities toward achieving the globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These Standards are the latest contribution of market-focused tools from SDG Impact, a flagship initiative of UNDP’s Finance Sector Hub, focused on accelerating investment to achieve the SDGs. The Standards will be available for comment and consultation through 31 July 2020. Review Of GRI's Universal Standards (GRI 101, 102 And 103) The Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB), GRI’s independent standard-setting body, is reviewing GRI’s Universal Standards: GRI 101, GRI 102, and GRI 103, and is now soliciting feedback from stakeholders on the proposed revisions, until 9 September 2020. Feedback should be provided in this online survey. Targeted consultation on the establishment of an EU Green Bond Standard Consultation period extended to 2 October 2020 The aim of this public consultation is to collect the views and opinions of interested parties in order to inform the establishment of an EU Green Bond Standard. This consultation builds upon the European Green Deal, which significantly increases the EU’s climate action and environmental policy ambitions. To complement the Green Deal, the Commission also presented the European Green Deal Investment Plan, which seeks to mobilise at least €1 trillion in sustainable investments over the next decade.
RESEARCHSwiss Sustainable Finance: Swiss Sustainable Investment Market Study 2020 08 June 2020 With a total of 76 respondents, including many of the large asset managers and asset owners, the study gives a fair overview of the Swiss SI market. IFC: Growing Impact: New Insights into the Practice of Impact Investing June 2020 Impact investing in private markets could be as large as $2.1 trillion in assets under management, but only a quarter of that, $505 billion, is clearly measured for its impact, both for development impact and financial returns, according to the report Growing Impact—New Insights into the Practice of Impact Investing. University of Oxford: The Effect of Firm-level ESG Practices on Macroeconomic Performance 03 June 2020 Using dynamic panel techniques – generalised method-of-moments (GMM) estimators – we find that an increase of micro-ESG performance can result in the improvement of living standards as measured by GDP per capita. The Economist: Sustainable and actionable: An ESG study of climate and social challenge for Asia 09 June 2020 Have green bonds—as the largest green fixed income competent—been enough? Despite the interviewees’ breadth of experience and varied professional functions, they are almost entirely synchronised in their response to this question: “no”. So what’s next? The Institute of International Finance: Building a Global ESG Disclosure Framework: A Path Forward 10 June 2020 While rapid consolidation at the global level is a pressing priority, the harmonization of expectations should be an iterative, phased process rather than a ‘big bang’.
MANAGEMENT NEWSGlobal head of ESG indexes at MSCI departs after 19 years 22 June 2020 After joining MSCI in 2001, Yang has held a number of senior roles at the firm including managing director and head of client coverage for Asia ex-Japan. Moscow Exchange Group Announces Changes To The Management Team 01 June 2020 At its meeting on 5 June 2020, the Supervisory Board of Moscow Exchange will discuss the proposed appointment of Alexey Khavin as member of the Executive Board. He is currently Chief Executive Officer of the Central Counterparty National Clearing Centre (CCP NCC), part of Moscow Exchange Group. Joachim Nagel will leave the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Börse AG 18 June 2020 Andreas Gottschling is expected to be appointed as his successor on the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Börse at the beginning of July. ESMA appoints a new securities and markets stakeholder group 16 June 2020 ESMA, the EU’s securities markets regulator, has published the new list of members of its Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group (SMSG) following approval by its Board of Supervisors.
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.