November News Highlights

29 November 2017

This month includes news from Amman exchange, B3, Bucharest exchange, Irish exchange, LGX, QSE, SET and more. Monthly news highlights are compiled by the SSE to give an overview of the capital markets sustainability news from that month. You can subscribe to our monthly news highlights by clicking here  


PUBLICATION: How stock exchanges can grow green finance: A voluntary action plan November 16, 2017 The SSE launched its latest guidance, presenting an action plan for stock exchanges to help them to grow green finance in their markets. The guidance was developed with an advisory group of more than 70 members, including stock exchanges, asset managers and investors, issuers, academics, civil society representatives and topic experts. COP23: Capital market leaders gather in Bonn to promote green finance November 16, 2017 – Bonn, Germany Capital market leaders from around the world gathered to share ideas for promoting green finance in alignment with the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. Convened by the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative and hosted by the Luxembourg Green Exchange (LGX), the event featured the release of a new SSE voluntary action plan on how stock exchanges can grow green finance. Read more about the action plan here.  


Directors’ duties and liabilities around climate risk: the TCFD recommendations December 7, 2017 This webinar will provide an overview of the regulatory landscape in relation to the TCFD recommendations and climate risk, in addition to a detailed analysis of the current situation in Australia and the UK. Speakers include Adam Peirce, Technical Director, CDSB; Alexia Staker, Lawyer, ClientEarth; and Sarah Barker, Special Counsel, Minter Ellison. UNEP FI Regional Roundtables on Sustainable Finance December 11-12, 2017 – Asia Pacific The year 2017 marks 25 years since the inception of United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and to celebrate, UNEP FI is bringing the sustainable finance community together at a series of Regional Roundtables. The agenda-setting events provide an opportunity for leaders from across the financial sector, civil society, academia, government, and the United Nations to discuss the latest trends and innovations in the region, as well as share good practice. After four successful Roundtables in Buenos Aires, New York, Geneva, and Johannesburg there is still time to participate in the remaining Roundtables in Tokyo (11 – 12 December).  


Best practice principles for shareholder voting research and analysis Feedback due December 15, 2017 The purpose of this consultation is to gather evidence from market participants on the implementation of the ‘Best Practice Principles for Shareholder Voting Research and Analysis’ to date and to hear views on how the Principles should be developed. This consultation is open to all with an interest, but investors, companies and other providers of voting research with direct experience in this space are especially encouraged to submit comments. Public comment period now open for SASB’s exposure draft standards Feedback due by December 31, 2017 The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) published its Exposure Draft Standards and has opened a 90-day public comment period – the last before codification of its standards. The Exposure Draft Standards for 79 industries in 11 major sectors will be open for feedback from corporate professionals, market participants, and public interest and intermediary stakeholders until December 31, 2017.  


Irish Stock Exchange acquired by Euronext November 29, 2017 The Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) was acquired by Euronext making Ireland Euronext’s sixth core European country alongside France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and the UK. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, pending regulatory approvals. CEO of Qatar Stock Exchange emphasizes commitment to economic sustainability November 27, 2017 Rashid Ali Al-Mansoori, CEO of the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), emphasized the the exchange’s commitment to sustainable economic, environmental and social development in Qatar, speaking at a lecture hosted by Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. “QSE is committed to advancing sustainable performance, transparency and governance practices in the market through the provision of guidance and tools to help our listed companies and investors,” Al-Mansoori said. PRI publishes voluntary climate reporting indicators based on TCFD recommendations November 27, 2017 Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) published new voluntary climate-related indicators in its reporting framework aligned with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations. For the 2018 reporting cycle, signatories will be able to voluntarily report and disclose on 14 new indicators and six original indicators which have been updated following TCFD recommendations. B3 announces the 13th Corporate Sustainability Index portfolio November 23, 2017 The portfolio, developed in partnership between B3 and the Sustainability Research Center at Fundação Getulio Vargas, is comprised of 30 companies. The companies are drawn from 12 industry sectors and together account for 41 percent of companies traded on B3. The World Federation of Exchanges publishes position paper on international regulatory dissonance November 22, 2017 The World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) released the paper Financial Markets and International Regulatory Dissonance which identifies the adverse effects and proposed solutions related to disproportionate expenses, implementation timelines, legal uncertainty, policy incoherence, and economic (in)efficiency. Amman Stock Exchange issues new brochure on sustainability November 21, 2017 This brochure aims to increase awareness among its listed companies about the importance of sustainability and sustainability reporting. The exchange declared that it will issue sustainability disclosure guidance in the future and intends to hold seminars and workshops around international sustainability disclosure standards. Collaborative initiative for green finance in Singapore November 15, 2017 The Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) published the report Collaborative Initiative for Green Finance in Singapore: Singapore as a Green Finance Hub for ASEAN and Asia at the G20 Green Finance Conference in Singapore. The report comes out of the Collaborative Initiative on Green Finance in Singapore and outlines opportunities, possibilities, and recommendations to develop a shared vision on how to move green finance forward in the country. Roadmap for a Sustainable Financial System – UN Environment Inquiry November 14, 2017 The World Bank and UNEP released a new report, Roadmap for a Sustainable Financial System, which proposes an integrated approach by financial sector stakeholders—both public and private—to accelerate the transformation toward a sustainable financial system. “These emerging changes in the corporate and financial sectors have begun to drive broader responses in the market and among key financial institutions. Stock exchanges are also pitching in, with more mandating disclosures among their listed companies,” the report says. Nigeria to release regulatory framework for green bonds November 13, 2017 The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has started drafting a comprehensive regulatory framework for the issuance of green bonds in the country. This comes as Nigeria announced plans to issue Africa’s first sovereign green bond that will provide environment-friendly infrastructure including renewable energy, clean transportation, and sustainable waste management to Nigerian universities and communities. South Korea’s FSC to require all listed firms to disclose governance structure November 9, 2017 South Korea’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), will soon require all listed companies here to disclose their governance structure to the investing public as part of efforts to improve management transparency. Choi Jong-ku, chairman of the FSC, also announced plans to provide incentives to institutional investors who adopt a Korean-version of the stewardship code, a set of principles aimed at improving shareholder voting rights. IOSCO reports on implementation of G20 – FSB recommendations to strengthen securities markets November 8, 2017 The Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a report on the implementation of the G20/FSB post-crisis recommendations aimed at strengthening securities markets. The Implementation Report: G20/FSB Recommendations related to Securities Markets was prepared by IOSCO’s Assessment Committee and finds that most responding jurisdictions have taken steps to implement the G20/FSB recommendations and IOSCO guidance in each of the designated areas. Twenty-four Thai listed firms win 2017 SET sustainability awards November 8, 2017 The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) granted its “SET Sustainability Awards 2017” to 24 listed companies with excellence in sustainability performance. SET President Kesara Manchusree said SET has encouraged companies to strike a balance between growth and stakeholder responsibility, while also applying ESG factors to sustainable business development. Improving the quality of ESG data November 7, 2017 CFA Institute released updated findings in its survey Global Perceptions of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Investing 2017. The survey found that 73 percent of respondents take ESG into account in their investment analysis and decisions and that the three factors that most limit an organizations ability to use non-financial information in investment decisions are: a lack of appropriate quantitative ESG information, a lack of comparability across firms and questionable data quality.  


FTSE Russell launches two new index series to support ESG integration into passive investment November 29, 2017 FTSE Russell launched two new indices: the FTSE Global Climate Index Series and the FTSE ESG Index Series. The new index series builds on the FTSE All-World ex CW Climate Balanced Factor Index which combines a smart beta factor approach alongside climate change considerations. Planned ETFs integrate women and minority empowerment November 29, 2017 ETF newcomer Impact Shares has filed for a trio of ETFs, two of which are being developed alongside the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the YWCA and are designed to reflect their sponsoring organizations’ respective values and social missions. Impact Shares is a registered charity and will donate the proceeds it earns from the ETFs to the charities that are backing them. BNP Paribas launches two equity SRI ETFs November 28, 2017 BNP Paribas Easy launched two new ETFs providing exposure to US-listed and emerging market equities with strong ESG characteristics. The two ETFs track the MSCI KLD 400 Social Index, and the BNP Paribas Easy MSCI Emerging Markets SRI ETF (EISR FP). The bond that really asks you to bet on the future of the planet November 16, 2017 Orsted A/S, the Danish company built on oil and gas extraction, will issue its first green bonds as it moves toward completing a transition to renewable energy. Orsted, which sold its oil division earlier this year, plans to offer a hybrid note due in 3017 and a senior unsecured bond maturing in 2029, both funding projects with positive environmental benefits. ASEAN launches green bond standards November 8, 2017 The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) launched a framework of green bond standards aimed at increasing the funding of green projects in the region. Europe gets its first ETF devoted to gender equality November 6, 2017 The Lyxor Global Gender Equality UCITS ETF tracks 150 companies globally that score highly for gender equality, using criteria such as gender balance in leadership, equal compensation and policies promoting women. CP to launch social impact fund in bid to narrow income gap  November 3, 2017 Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group unveiled plans a social impact fund aimed at driving positive changes in social development and alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Beyond financial support, the group is also committed to providing knowledge, marketing, technology and distribution channels to social enterprises. Asia Index launches S&P BSE 100 ESG Index November 2, 2017 Asia Index Ltd, a joint venture of S&P Dow Jones Indices and BSE, launched the S&P BSE 100 ESG Index, excluding all tobacco-producing companies, companies with tobacco sales greater than 10 percent, companies producing controversial weapons and all companies at or below the bottom 5 percent of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) score. Sage Advisory launches ESG corporate bond ETF November 1, 2017 Sage Advisory, an investment management firm based in Austin, TX, launched its first independently issued ETF, the Sage ESG Intermediate Credit ETF (GUDB). GUDB replicates the Sage ESG Intermediate Credit Index, which offers exposure to US corporate bonds in the Barclays Capital US Intermediate Credit Bond Index that meet Sage’s ESG criteria.


Swiss bourse SIX appoints Dijsselhof as new CEO November 13, 2017 SIX Group announced that former Euronext Chief Operating Officer Jos Dijsselhof will take over on January 1, 2018 as chief executive from current CEO, Urs Rueegsegger, who announced in May that he would leave SIX in 2018. Bucharest bourse appoints interim CEO November 1, 2017 The Bucharest Stock Exchange (BVB) appointed Marius-Alin Barbu as interim chief executive officer after CEO Ludwik Sobolewski announced his resignation. Sobolewski’s term of office expired in August but the BVB board was unable to extend his contract or replace him at its August meeting due to lack of quorum.

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.