December 2014 Sustainable Stock Exchange Highlights

Produced in cooperation with:

(Return to Monthly News Highlights)




Chilean Stock Exchange Joins UN SSE 
December 5, 2014
The Bolsa de Comercio de Santiago is the 17th signatory to the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative. The Exchange plans to develop a sustainability index in 2015.

High Corporate Governance Compliance on Malaysian Stock Exchange 
December 29, 2014
A report issued by Bursa Malaysia finds high compliance on corporate governance disclosure requirements among 300 issuers. The report also finds that most issuers have adopted the best practice recommendations laid out in the Malaysian 2012 Code of Corporate Governance. 

Saudi Exchange Open to Foreign Investors in 2015 
December 29, 2014
The $500 billion Tadawul (Saudi Stock Exchange) will open to international investors in April, according to Bloomberg. Current rules allow trading only from investors based in gulf states.

Myanmar Stock Exchange to Open in 2015 
December 23, 2014
The Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) is set to open, after two Japanese companies agreed to finance the operation, along with the state-owned Myanmar Economic Bank. The Myanmar government expects to meet its self-imposed 2015 deadline.

Investors, Analysts Seek More Corporate Contact on ESG Issues 
December 23, 2014
A survey conducted by research groups WeConveneExtel and SRI-Connect found that asset managers and other large-scale investors want more ESG information from companies. Participants in the survey requested more direct communication and more channels of communication.

Kenyan Exchange to Establish Derivatives Exchange 
December 22, 2014
The Nairobi Securities Exchange received approval from the Capital Markets Authority to establish and operate a derivatives exchange. The expansion signals the Exchange’s intention to establish itself as an African financial hub.

Low Compliance for SGX Governance 
December 20, 2014
Data released by an annual index suggests that many companies listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) will miss the 2017 deadline to comply with the Code for Corporate Governance. Only 40% of companies currently comply, and the data indicates that 100% compliance is unlikely until 2020.

Canadian Regulator Assesses High Frequency Trading 
December 18, 2014
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) published three studies assessing the impacts of high frequency trading (HFT) on Canadian equity markets. The studies, conducted by academic teams selected by the IIROC, examined HFT firm behavior under different market and regulatory conditions. The IIROC plans to review the findings to determine if any regulatory response is needed.

Low Compliance on Hong Kong’s Governance Code 
December 18, 2014
Only 37% of companies listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange’s (HKEx) main indicator index complied fully with corporate governance requirements in 2014, an increase of 3% from 2013. Compliance with information technology requirements is especially low, with only 4% of companies reporting a cybersecurity strategy.

Ice Market Reform Proposal Received with Mixed Reviews 
December 17, 2014
The IntercontinentalExchange Group (ICE), owners of the New York Stock Exchange, has proposed a series of market reforms in a draft letter. The reforms include a proposal to reduce banks’ trading costs more than 80%, a move designed to discourage dark pool trading. Rival exchange NASDAQ OMX supports the proposal, but it is strongly opposed by BATS Global Market Inc.
BATS opposition:

Botswana Stock Exchange Moved Towards Privatization 
December 17, 2014
Botswana’s Parliament approved a bill allowing the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) to register as a company, following the modern trend of stock exchange demutualization. BSE has operated as an association of brokers since its establishment in 1995.

HKEx Overcomes Alibaba Loss, Places Second in IPOs 
December 16, 2014
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) raised $27.1 billion from initial public offerings (IPO) in 2014, debunking fears that the exchange’s corporate governance code would scare off companies. HKEx trails only the New York Stock Exchange ($73.4 billion), which in September poached Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s record opening ($25 billion) from HKEx, by offering less stringent governance standards.

Syntao Hosts G4 Training in Shanghai 
December 11, 2014
The Chinese sustainability consultant attracted almost 40 managers to its Global Reporting Initiative G4 training, the first of its kind in China. The training focused on guidance and reporting procedures.

Korean Exchange to Launch Emissions Trading Market
December 11, 2014
The Korean Exchange (KRX) has finalized a trading scheme for its emissions market, set to launch January 12, 2015. The scheme includes market regulations and rules for enforcement.

Natura Becomes First Public Benefit Corporation 
December 11, 2014
Natura, a Brazilian cosmetics company, recently became the world’s first publicly traded benefit corporation. Benefit corporations consider ESG issues fundamental to all corporate decision-making. Natura is traded on BM&F BOVESPA.

Irish Corporate Governance Guide Launches
December 10, 2014
The Chartered Accountants of Ireland has published a guide to good corporate governance, which establishes standards for organizations ranging from government to non-profits.

Market Cyber Security Scrutinized by CFTC 
December 10, 2014
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Timothy Massad announced plans to study cyber security measures used by U.S. exchanges and clearinghouses. Massad cited recent security breaches at J.P. Morgan and Target as motivations for increasing scrutiny.

Indian Corporate Governance Practices Improve 
December 8, 2014
Following the national Companies Act 2013, corporate governance practices have improved among the 150 largest Indian companies. However women remain underrepresented in boardrooms, holding director positions at only 7% of the companies.

NAPF Urges ESG Consideration in Corporate Governance 
December 8, 2014
The revised National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) corporate governance policy and voting guidelines cover ESG issues, including climate change and cyber security, and hold individual board members to account for their actions.

CDSB Report Proposes Climate Reporting Standards for Exchanges 
December 5, 2014
The Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) proposal calls on stock exchanges to require reporting on climate change issues. The proposal includes background on current climate change reporting, and details expected challenges for implementation, including lack of consistency.

Oslo Bors to Launch Green Bond Lists
December 4, 2014
The Oslo Stock Exchange will create separate lists for green bonds and green certificates in January 2015, in response to strong interest from investors, and to highlight environmentally friendly investments.

Angolan Market Regulator Joins IOSCO
December 3, 2014
The Angolan Capital Market Commission (CMC) has been admitted as an associate member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). The admittance signals IOSCO’s approval of CMC’s regulatory and institutional conditions.

SGX Takes Responsibility for Latest Trading Glitch
December 3, 2014
On December 3, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) securities market opening was delayed by a software defect, a month after a similar problem shut down the exchange on November 5. SGX will review its systems, in compliance with Monetary Authority of Singapore orders.

Nasdaq Participates in Stranded Assets Panel 
December 2, 2014
Miguel Santisteve, associate director of corporate solutions at NASDAQ, participated in a roundtable discussion on the risks stranded assets pose to investors. Stranded assets refer to the potential for leaving fossil fuel reserves in the ground due to extraction costs and climate regulations. Environmental Finance organized the panel.
Environmental Finance (Subscription):

Thai Stock Exchange to Focus on Sustainability in 2015
December 2, 2014
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has highlighted sustainability in its 2015 business plan. SET is included on several ESG indices, and is a UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative member.

JSE Socially Responsible Investment Index Hits Record Membership
December 1, 2014
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Index now includes 82 companies, up from 72 in 2013. Any of the 156 companies traded on the FTSE/JSE All Share meeting certain ESG criteria are included in the Index. The SRI Index was launched in 2004.

(Return to top)


Japan Seeks Comment on Corporate Governance, Now in English 
December 26, 2014
The Japanese Financial Services Agency has published the exposure draft of Japan’s Corporate Governance Code in English. The draft is based on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Principles of Corporate Governance. Comments sought through January 31, 2015.

Public Consultation for Brazilian Proxy Voting Guidelines 
December 22, 2014
Institutional Shareholder Services has published a report on proxy voting summary guidelines for Brazil, which is open for comment.

IOSCO, Basel Committee Release Draft Criteria for Securitization 
December 11, 2014
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision welcome comments on a report titled Criteria for Identifying Simple, Transparent and Comparable Securitisations. Comments are due by February 13, 2015.

(Return to top)


Bursa Malaysia Launches ESG Index 
December 23, 2014
The FTSE4Good Bursa Malaysia (F4GBM) Index will measure the performance of companies performing well on ESG criteria. The Index was developed in collaboration with index provider FTSE, and is aligned with widely used reporting frameworks, including the Global Reporting Initiative and CDP.

Warsaw’s Respect Index Celebrates Five Years 
December 18, 2014
The Warsaw Stock Exchange’s RESPECT Index was Central and Eastern Europe’s first social responsibility index. There are 24 companies in the eighth edition, including three new participants. The Index’s rate of return since 2009 is 70%.

Free Greenhouse Gas Emissions Calculator Launches 
December 15, 2014
The Scope 3 Evaluator is designed to assist companies with carbon accounting. The software estimates Scope 3 emissions, which are all indirect emissions occurring in a companies value stream. The Greenhouse Gas Protocol and Quantis developed the Evaluator, which is available for free.

Global Reporting Initiative Launches G4 Support Service 
December 4, 2014
The new Content Index Service assists companies with G4 reporting, and is designed to improve the usability and transparency of the widely used ESG disclosure framework.

NASDAQ, Transcendent Group Partner on Governance Product 
December 4, 2014
NASDAQ’s BWise has partnered with Governance, Risk Management and Compliance service Transcendent, to serve Nordic region customers.

New Benchmark Ranks Companies on Human Rights Performance 
December 3, 2014
The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) will rank 500 global companies from various sectors on their human rights performance. The developers of the CHRB, including Calvert Investments, hope the benchmark helps make human rights practices standard corporate practice.

(Return to top)

This is a monthly newsletter courtesy of Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk and the UN Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative. To subscribe, click here
Send exchange-related ESG news to Tracey Rembert, Director, Investor Initiative for Sustainable Exchanges: