October monthly news highlights

31 October 2018

This month includes news from B3, EGX, JSE, Borsa Istanbul, Nasdaq, Nasdaq Helsinki, SET, BVQ, SIX, MSX, JPX, SZSE, FMDQ, ASX, BVL, LSE, NZX, Oslo Børs 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 gives keynote at inaugural ConFEAS 29 October 2018 The United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative was invited to give a keynote address at the Federation of Euro-Asian Exchanges (FEAS) inaugural annual conference, ConFEAS 2018. With a focus on innovation, the SSE highlighted how stock exchanges are integrating sustainability into market disclosure, product development and new service offerings. Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative celebrates 2018 SSE Global Dialogue 23 October 2018 The United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative hosted the SSE Global Dialogue in Geneva, as part of the UNCTAD World Investment Forum. The Global Dialogue is the SSE’s flagship biennial global gathering, bringing together market leaders to deliberate on current challenges, exchange views on best practices and set the direction of travel for stock exchanges committed to promoting sustainable finance. Securities regulators promoting sustainable finance, new UN report 23 October 2018 Leveraging its platform for bringing stock exchanges together with other actors in the investment chain, the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative released a new report during the SSE Global Dialogue, which was held during UNCTAD’s 2018 World Investment Forum. The report focuses on how securities regulators can help promote the SDGs. With 35 examples from 19 markets, the report provides a snapshot of what is happening around the world at the time of publication. Seven stock exchanges win UN award 23 October 2018 Following the 2018 SSE Global Dialogue, seven stock exchanges were awarded two categories of awards. The first category is the SSE Ground-Breaker Award, which acknowledges innovative or ground-breaking efforts by a stock exchange contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The founding five SSE Partner Exchanges – B3, The Egyptian Exchange, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Borsa Istanbul and Nasdaq – received the SSE Ground-Breaker Award. The second category of awards given was the SSE Market Transparency Award, linked to a ranking of stock exchanges around the world based on the disclosure practices of their issuers in the SSE Report on Progress. SSE Market Transparency Awards were given to Nasdaq Helsinki and the Stock Exchange of Thailand for their placement in the ranking – Nasdaq Helsinki was ranked first overall, and SET was the top ranked emerging market exchange. SSE Report on Progress charts stock exchange progress 23 October 2018 The SSE launched its biennial Report on Progress at the 2018 Global Dialogue, documenting a steep increase in a number of sustainability activities at stock exchanges. Since the last SSE Report on Progress, significant growth in stock exchange activities promoting sustainability and transparency in their markets, with 66 stock exchanges now engaging with at least one of the six sustainability activities tracked by the SSE. SSE Teams up with IFC to strengthen ESG disclosure by listed companies across emerging markets 23 October 2018 The UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative and the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, have initiated a collaboration to raise environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards across emerging capital markets. Announced at the UNCTAD World Investment Forum in Geneva, the new work stream seeks to strengthen ESG disclosure and reporting requirements for listed companies across emerging markets by providing technical assistance to stock exchange engagement. The goal is to help build investor trust, attract capital, and grow strong local capital markets. Quito stock exchange commits to supporting the SDGs 22 October 2018 “The Quito Stock Exchange is proud to become a member of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative. QSE is committed to supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in recognition of the significant role that Exchanges play in promoting responsible investment and sustainable finance through capital markets”, said Paul McEvoy, CEO of the Quito Stock Exchange. Mongol Securities Exchange becomes SSE Partner Exchange 15 October 2018 The Mongol Securities Exchange (MSX), a privately owned stock exchange in Mongolia, has made a public commitment to promoting sustainable and transparent capital markets in their country by partnering with the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative. MSX is the second Mongolian stock exchange to partner with the SSE. SSE participates in launch of WFE Principles for Sustainable Exchanges 4 October 2018 The World Federation of Exchanges has formally launched its “Principles for Sustainable Exchanges” at the WFE Annual Meeting in Athens. These principles mark a major milestone in the evolution of WFE members’ engagement with sustainability. With the launch of these new principles, WFE member exchanges formally acknowledge their role in fostering and promoting the development of a sustainable financial system, making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development, and promoting the transition towards an inclusive, and sustainable economy.  

WEBINARS AND EVENTS

TBLI Conference Nordic 2018 8-9 November 2018 | Stockholm, Sweden Join institutional investors, fund distributors and asset owners at the leading conference on global ESG and impact investing. The Fourth TBLI CONFERENCE NORDIC will be held in Stockholm, hosted by Nasdaq. Register here.

OECD Forum on Green Finance and Investment 13-14 November 2018 | Paris, France Hosted by the OECD Centre on Green Finance and Investment, the annual forum gathers senior policymakers and key actors in green finance and investment from around the world for open and action-oriented discussions to advance the global agenda. Registration requests are now open here, and the draft agenda can be found here. 2018 UNEP-FI Global Roundtable and Paris Climate Finance Day 26-28 November 2018 | Paris, France UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and Finance for Tomorrow, an initiative of Paris EUROPLACE, are joining forces to stage three days of action on sustainable finance in the city where decisive action on climate change was finally taken in 2015. The 4th Climate Finance Day and the UN Environment Finance Initiative’s biennial Global Roundtable will take place in Paris from 26-28 November 2018.

CONSULTATIONS

FCA seeking comment on regulatory focus for climate change Due by 31 January 2019 The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is seeking comment on areas of climate change and green finance that may require greater regulatory focus. Find a discussion paper the FCA published here.  

STOCK EXCHANGE NEWS

SET grants 29 listed firms sustainability award 31 October 2018 The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) granted the “SET Sustainability Awards 2018” to 29 listed companies with outstanding achievement in sustainable business practices in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). What can stock exchanges do for the SDGs? 31 October 2018 To achieve the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations has been widening calls for support from the private sector — and some believe stock markets could play an important role. “Well-functioning stock exchanges enable economic growth and development by facilitating mobilization of financial resources, and by bringing together those who need capital with those who have resources to invest,” said Nandini Sukumar, CEO of the World Federation of Exchanges, during last week’s talks, held as part of the World Investment Forum. JPX Expresses Support for TCFD 29 October 2018 Japan Stock Exchange (JPX) expressed its support for the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) under the Financial Stability Board (FSB). JPX has actively promoted ESG investment initiatives through such measures as formulating Japan's Corporate Governance Code, offering ESG-related indices and ETFs, launching an infrastructure fund market, and establishing an information platform for green and social bonds. EGX hosts 4th Sustainability Committee meeting 25 October 2018 The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) held its 4th Sustainability Committee meeting in the presence of its members and attendance of EGX’s top management headed by EGX chairman and the chairman of the committee, Mohamed Farid Saleh. The committee discussed means of improving sustainability practices and governance of listed companies. During the meeting, EGX highlighted the importance of integrating sustainability with its actual impact on the stock market, especially with regards to collaboration with international financial institutions. Shenzhen Stock Exchange: Promote Sustainable Innovation and Lead Green Finance Development 23 October 2018 President & CEO of SZSE Wang Jianjun led a delegation to Geneva, Switzerland to attend the World Investment Forum organized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and gave a keynote speech on SZSE's experience in promoting sustainable financial innovation development. B3 announces results of Report or Explain for SDGs 24 October 2018 B3 has announced the results of the second year of the Report or Explain for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) initiative. This joint strategy with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sets down efforts by companies listed on B3 to publish sustainability or integrated reports that incorporate SDGs - 17 global goals defined in 2015 by the United Nations. Nigeria holds capacity building and training session on green bonds 22 October 2018 Further to the launch of the Nigerian Green Bond Market Development Programme (the “Programme”) into the Nigerian debt capital markets in June 2018, the Parties – FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange (“FMDQ”), Financial Sector Deepening Africa (“FSD Africa”) and Climate Bonds Initiative (“CBI”) – executed the maiden Investors Capacity Building and Training Session (the “Session”) in line with the provisions and objectives of the Programme. SET announces 79 listed companies for sustainability investment list 2018 17 October 2018 The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) announces 79 listed companies with outstanding performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects on the Thailand Sustainability Investment (THSI) list for 2018, an increase of 14 firms from 2017. SET President Pakorn Peetathawatchai said that one of SET's priorities is to encourage listed companies to realize the importance and gain understanding of integrating sustainability development practice into business operations. ASX signs MoU with Sustainability Excellence to promote sustainability initiatives and ESG principles among stakeholders 16 October 2018 The MoU is aimed at deploying Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) -related initiatives that would enable the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange (ADX) to promote ESG and sustainability values and practices among its listed issuers and investors as well as internally. Significant improvement in Shenzhen Stock Exchange-listed companies' environmental information disclosure 16 October 2018 Focusing on strengthening the supervision on environmental information disclosure and improving market services, SZSE appeals to and guides listed companies to earnestly assume the responsibility of pollution control and environmental protection. The quality of environmental information disclosure of SZSE-listed companies has been significantly improved. ASEAN launches initiative to drive connected, sustainable capital markets 12 October 2018 The ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF), which met in Singapore on October 11, launched two key initiatives to drive a more connected and sustainable ASEAN capital market. SET wins best sustainable securities exchange, Southeast Asia award 11 October 2018 The Stock Exchange of Thailand was awarded two awards by CFI.co - one for its sustainability leadership. Podcast: IFC and BVL discuss sustainability practices in Peru As CEO of the Lima Stock Exchange, Francis Stenning has made sustainability a priority – he’s joined the U.N. Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative and requires all Peru-listed companies to report on their environmental, social, and governance or ESG practices as a way to help investors make good choices. He speaks with Ralitza Germanova of IFC about why this is important to him.  

REGULATOR NEWS

Investors Petition US SEC for Mandatory ESG Disclosure 31 October 2018 The petition, filed on October 1, calls for the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to design a framework for companies to disclose “specific, much higher-quality ESG information” than is currently required. “It is time for the SEC to regulate in this area,” the 20-page petition states. The Commission is under no legal obligation to act upon the petition, and an SEC spokesperson declined comment. IOSCO creates sustainable finance network 18 October 2018 The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) decided to create a Sustainable Finance Network (SFN). The network will provide a platform for IOSCO's members to share their experiences and discuss sustainability-related issues. The network was formed at the initiative of Finansinspektionen. The Chair of the network will be Director General Erik Thedéen. FCA moves to force firms to disclose climate risk management 15 October 2018 The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has proposed measures that would force financial services firms to publicly disclose how they manage climate risk, as the regulator takes steps to limit the sector's contribution to the "disruptive and potentially irreversible threat to the planet" of climate change. Regulators are taking a tougher stance on ESG disclosures, report finds 12 October 2018 Datamaran, a software as a service (SaaS) company with a focus on non-financial risk management, analyzed the growth of ESG regulations back to 2012. Researchers focused on three sectors—financial services, utilities and pharmaceuticals—across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Their findings indicate an evolving regulatory landscape that increasingly favors more non-financial information from public companies.  

ESG INDICES AND PRODUCTS

JSE to drive green bonds 25 October 2018 The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is banking on green bonds to attract investment from international investors. The JSE's listing requirements for green bonds are similar to those for normal bonds, but the use of funds raised from green bonds has to be in accordance with global standards on bonds for climate change. Borsa Istanbul: BIST Sustainability Index Constituents for November 2018-October 2019 announced 26 October 2018 Annual company assessments of the BIST Sustainability Index have been completed. LSE welcomes J.P. Morgan to celebrate launch of research enhanced ESG ETFs 16 October 2018 The funds will systematically consider ESG factors, which are of growing importance to investors and can have significant implications for long-term performance. This ESG framework is combined with a values-based screen that will exclude stocks that partake in certain activities such as the manufacturing of controversial weapons. FCA to offer incentives for ESG product development 15 October 2018 The Financial Conduct Authority has signed up 11 global regulators to agree a co-ordinated approach to developing the sector, it said, using as a model the 'global sandbox' it previously applied to pure fintech. Nasdaq launches ESG futures in the Nordics 15 October 2018 Nasdaq announced the launch of futures based on the recently launched OMXS30 ESG Responsible index (OMXS30ESG). The product is the first exchange-listed and ESG-compliant index future in the world. Salt Funds to open up carbon trading to retail investors in NZX-Listed fund 15 October 2018 Salt Funds Management plans to list a dedicated carbon fund, opening up the green commodity directly for retail investors.  

MANAGEMENT NEWS

London Stock Exchange Group - Directorate Change 11 October 2018 Following the announcement of her appointment at Bloomberg L.P., Mary Schapiro has resigned from the Board of London Stock Exchange Group plc with immediate effect. The search for a new President and CEO for Oslo Børs starts 8 October 2018 Bente A. Landsnes has been President and CEO of Oslo Børs and Oslo Børs VPS since January 2006. She wishes to depart in 2019 in accordance with her employment contract. Urs Rüegsegger elected Chairman of World Federation of Exchanges 3 October 2018 With his election, Urs Rüegsegger will be the first Swiss to assume the leadership of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE).

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.