February 2014 Sustainable Stock Exchange Highlights

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GENERAL NEWS

Japan Advices to Boost Responsible Investment by 500%
February 25, 2014
A Japanese government-appointed committee recommended increased investment in infrastructure, human capital, and education. The committee called for RI action by policy makers and pension funds.
Broad overview: http://bit.ly/1gkysxK
In Japanese: http://bit.ly/1jBdOdk

CERES Report Recommends SEC Improve Climate Change Disclosures
February 6, 2014
The Cool Response report analyzes S&P 500 climate disclosures from 2010-2013, in response to the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s 2010 climate change guidance, and details how the SEC can promote improved disclosure.
http://bit.ly/1k9oaEf

Institutional Investors Launch Platform for Dialogue Between Corporate Directors and Shareholders
February 4, 2014
Major US Investors such as BlackRock and State Street believe that the new “Shareholder-Director Exchange” (SDX) will facilitate improved communication between shareholders and companies.
http://bit.ly/1hp5yMI

Nigerian Exchange Developing Corporate Governance Rating System
January 27, 2014
The Nigerian Stock Exchange, along with the Convention on Business Integrity, is in the process of establishing a corporate governance index for listed companies, based on a new Corporate Governance Rating System (CGRS). The Exchange also plans to launch a Premium Board comprised of companies with higher governance standards based on the CGRS ratings.
http://bit.ly/1mu42ys

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LISTING STANDARDS AND GUIDANCE

New SASB Standards Address Exchange Sustainability Reporting Rules
February 25, 2014
In the new Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) financial industry standards, stock exchanges are to describe efforts to “encourage or require” sustainability disclosure by issuers.
http://bit.ly/MubnNM

Toronto Stock Exchange Mandates Majority Voting
February 13, 2014
The Ontario Securities Commission has approved amendments to listing rules of the TSX Company Manual, mandating companies to adopt majority voting. Directors of TSX-listed companies will now be required to resign if they fail to get majority votes in annual board elections.
Media:http://bit.ly/1chpk8E
Listing Rules: http://bit.ly/1nTxHw9

India’s SEBI Overhauls Governance Code, Fund Voting, Female Director Requirements, Stakeholder Committees
February 10, 2014
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the chief Indian financial regulator, has adopted new listing requirements that issue in a spate of governance and transparency reforms. Its improved governance code would require increased transparency on executive salaries, enact stronger rules for insider trading, limit the number of boards independent directors serve on, and better protect minority shareholders. It also ruled that mutual funds must disclose their voting data quarterly, with a rationale supporting those decisions, and that listed companies should have at least one female director. It goes further, calling for companies to establish “stakeholder relationship” committees.
SEBI Release:  http://bit.ly/1dAIiHM

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CONSULTATIONS, DEADLINES, AND EVENTS

New Australian Corporate Engagement Code Opens Consultation Period
February 26, 2014
Corporate governance organizations published draft guidelines aimed at increasing transparency and promoting standards for engagement between companies and shareholders. Global institutional investors voiced support for the code.  The consultation is open until April 26, 2014.
http://bit.ly/1mHtXTf

CDSB Opens Comment Period on Corporate Forest and Water Framework
February 17, 2014
The Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) has released its draft corporate reporting framework for public consultation, expanding its disclosure topics to include forest commodities and water. The consultation deadline is May 19, 2014.
http://bit.ly/Mgsa6B

IOSCO Issues Consultation on Credit Rating Agency Reforms
February 10, 2014
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has proposed significant revisions to its Code of Conduct Fundamentals for Credit Rating Agencies, first published in 2004. The amendments seek to strengthen the integrity of the ratings process, better manage conflicts of interest, and enhance measures on governance, training, and risk management. Comments are due by March 28, 2014.
http://bit.ly/1coHyoi

Industry Canada Conducts Public Consultation on CBCA, Seeking Feedback on Role of Corporate Social Responsibility
February 5, 2014
Canada’s government industry agency nears the close, on March 12th, of a consultation on the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA).  It seeks feedback on shareholder rights and board communications, the role of Corporate Social Responsibility at companies, bribery and corruption provisions, diversity of the board and management, and the incorporation structure of socially responsible enterprises.
Consultation: http://bit.ly/1l20EJk

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ESG INDICES AND PRODUCTS

Chilean Exchange asks MSCI for ESG Index Study
February 11, 2014
MSCI announced plans to study the feasibility of launching an ESG index on the Santiago Stock Exchange. The data provider is also opening an office in Santiago, its third location in Latin America.
http://bit.ly/1e8gaei

FTSE Group to Recognize New Industries for Classification System
January 27, 2014
The FTSE Group, an LSE-owned provider of stock indices and data, broadened its industry classification system to reflect the rapid growth and innovation in the environmental services field.
http://on.ft.com/Nbqs7w

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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: rembert@ceres.org 

 

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