IFC Supports Development of First Environment, Social and Governance Index in MENA

by Zawya, January 13, 2010.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping develop an index that will encourage responsible and sustainable investment practices in the Middle East and North Africa by measuring the environmental, social, and corporate governance performance of hundreds of listed companies in the region.

IFC is supporting efforts of the Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance, indices and ratings provider Standard & Poor‘s, and Credit Rating and Information Services of India Ltd. (CRISIL) to develop the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) index, the first of its kind to be launched in the region.

The index will help some 600 listed companies in 11 countries better understand environmentally and socially responsible investment practices, and the importance of implementing sound corporate governance. Businesses that seek balanced, long-term performance will be encouraged to adopt sustainable business practices.

Dr. Nasser Saidi, Executive Director of Hawkamah, said: “In response to economic disruption and to bad practices blamed for sparking the financial crisis, institutional investors are increasingly focusing on long-term risks in their investments. Environmental, social, and governance factors are playing a growing role in investment decisions in our region. Financial performance indicators have traditionally marked whether to invest in a company. With IFC’s support we aim to provide the market and investors with a tool focusing on non-financial indicators, which are fundamental in assessing the sustainability of a company’s future performance.”…(continue reading)

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