November 2014 Sustainable Stock Exchange Highlights

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Ontario Passes ESG Requirement for Pension Funds
December 3, 2014
The Ontario provincial government passed an amendment to the Pensions Benefit Acts requiring pension funds to report whether their Statements of Investment Policies and Procedures address environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. The legislation is the first of its kind in Canada, and will come into effect January 2015.
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China to Launch National Carbon Market
November 25, 2014
The market will cap carbon emissions by power stations and heavy industry, and is expected play an important role in China’s goal of reducing carbon emissions by 2030. The market is expected to launch in 2016.

Nigeria Launches New Corporate Governance Rating System
November 20, 2014
The Corporate Governance Rating System (CGRS) ranks companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) based on corporate governance and anti-corruption policies. NSE plans to introduce a “Premium Board” in January 2015, which will include top ranked CGRS companies.

Singapore Leads Asian States in Corporate Governance Requirements 
November 19, 2014
Singapore was found to have the clearest and most comprehensive corporate governance rules in Asia by an independent study, conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and KPMG.

US SEC Enacts Rule to Improve Cybersecurity 
November 19, 2014
Under the new Securities and Exchange Commission rule, stock exchanges, large alternative trading platforms, and some self-regulatory groups must adopt and enforce policies to protect against technology glitches, natural disasters, and other potential market disruptions.

UN Global Compact Launches Board Sustainability Program 
November 19, 2014
The United Nations Global Compact Board Programme will help Boards of Directors create, oversee, and drive their sustainability strategies, and will improve Board understanding of the material impacts of sustainability issues.

Thai Borse Honors Companies for CSR  
November 18, 2014
The Stock Exchange of Thailand recognized 45 companies for excellence in corporate social responsibility (CSR) during the third annual CSR Recognition 2014 ceremony, held November 27th.

Chinese Socially Responsible Investment Report Released
November 18, 2014
The report finds wide recognition that ESG and Sustainable Investing are important, but also that ESG reporting is often unhelpful for investors due to a lack of material information disclosure. The report was prepared by the China Social Investment Forum, and used data gathered through surveys and on-site interviews with fund managers.

Tanzania Plans Commodity Exchange Market
November 18, 2014
The market will reduce transaction costs and increase transparency for purchases of cash crops, such as coffee and cotton. The government plans to launch the market in June 2016.

New Canadian Stock Exchange to Curb High Frequency Trading 
November 17, 2014
Newly-launched exchange Aequitas will introduce a platform with “speed bumps” against high frequency trading, with hopes of drawing investors away from TMX Group, which owns the Toronto Stock Exchange. Aequitas is expected to go live in March 2015.

Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect Launches 
November 17, 2014
The stock connect scheme allows direct foreign investment in Chinese companies, and gives Chinese investors access to stocks listed on the Hong Kong Exchange (HKEx).
NY Times:

Canada Releases “Final Rule” on women on Boards and in Senior Management
November 14, 2014
The rule will require companies to disclose information about the representation of women on a comply or explain basis. The securities commissions of every Province except British Columbia and Alberta developed the rule. It will be implemented in December 2014.

ICAEW calls for Overarching response to Governance
November 12, 2014
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) proposed the development of an overarching framework to outline “the purpose of companies today.” The framework would apply to group-specific codes, such as the UK Corporate Governance Code, and would increase consistency between these more detailed codes. ICAEW CEO Michael Izza pointed to corporate governance failures on diversity, tax avoidance and salaries as reasons why such a framework is necessary.

Carbon Tracker Initiative  (CTI) Calls for Improved Climate Disclosure 
November 7, 2014
CTI, along with the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association, urged UK government and regulatory bodies to mandate carbon emissions disclosure. CTI Founding Director Mark Campanale stressed the importance of “clear guidance to fossil fuel companies on public disclosure of how they factor in climate-related risks.”

New GRI Governance Structure to Catalyze ESG Reporting
November 6, 2014
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has enacted a new governance structure to reinforce the credibility of its reporting standards. The changes increase the independence of GRI’s ESG reporting framework development from other organizational activities, and will be implemented in January 2015.

IOSCO Publishes Framework for Investor Education
November 6, 2014
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) report includes a framework to guide investor education initiatives, which IOSCO considers complementary to its regulatory responsibilities.

Gibraltar to Launch Stock Exchange 
November 4, 2014
The Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX) has invited companies to list for its November 1st soft launch. GSX has been approved by the Financial Services Commission of Gibraltar, and will open fully in January 2015.
October news:
November news:

Allianz Calls for ESG Criteria in Indices 
November 4, 2014
Allianz Head of Asset Management Jay Ralph called for index providers to include ESG information in their main products. Ralph was speaking at the 2014 German Principles for Responsible Investment meeting.

Calvert-Led Study calls for Mandatory ESG Listings Standards 
November 4, 2014
The report, which analyses 4,712 companies and 53 indices, demonstrates the need for ESG listing standards, and links company’s natural capital profiles to long-term business success.

Brazilian Exchange Carbon Neutral for 2013
November 4, 2014
BM&FBOVESPA compensated its remaining 2013 greenhouse gas emissions, reaching carbon neutrality for the third straight year.

OEKOM, TRUCOST Approved as Climate Bond Verifiers 
November 3, 2014
The ratings agencies join Bureau Veritas, KPMG, DNV-GL, and EthiFinance as approved verifiers. There is no standard definition yet for ‘climate’ or ‘green’ bonds, but verifiers increase investor and issuer confidence by preventing greenwashing.

Integrated Reporting Receives International Support 
October 29, 2014
Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England and Chairman of the Financial Stability Board, endorsed integrated reporting at the annual World Bank and International Monetary Fund meeting. The Japanese government also declared support in a Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) report.

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CDSB Launches Reporting Framework 
The consultation closes on December 14, 2014
The Climate Disclosure Standards Board’s (CDSB) updated framework includes guidance for characterizing and reporting environmental information, with the intent of aiding businesses preparing reports for investors.

Hong Kong Seeks Listing Committee Applicants 
November 4, 2014
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing’s Listing Nominating Committee is seeking applications from individuals interested in serving on the Listing Committee and the Growth Enterprise Market Listing Committee. Appointment terms will commence in May/June 2015, and will last approximately 12 months.

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Barclays, MSCI Launch Green Bond Index 
November 13, 2014
Barclays and MSCI are the latest of several major banks to launch green bond indices this year, in a move towards increased transparency and standardization in the green bonds market. The index was developed through consultations with investors and issuers, and includes 49 issues.
Professional Planner:

ISE Launches Cybersecurity Index
November 11, 2014
The International Securities Exchange (ISE) Cyber Security Index (HXR) is the first index to focus on publicly listed cybersecurity companies.

Borsa Istanbul Launches Sustainability Index 
November 4, 2014
The BIST Sustainability Index includes Borsa Istanbul-listed companies that pass an ESG performance assessment created by EIRIS, a global leader in independent ESG research. The Index will be reviewed annually.

New Global Financial Disruptors Equity Index Launched  
November 3, 2014
The Liberum AltFi Financial Disruptors Index (LAFDI) is the first equity index to track global financial services’ disruptors. The Index was prepared by UK-based investment bank Liberum and research firm AltFi Data.

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Oscar Onyema Names African Securities Exchange Association President 
November 25, 2014
Onyema, the CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, was elected by the African Securities Exchange Association Executive Board.

Stacey Cunningham Names Head of NYSE Governance Services
October 28, 2014
Cunningham will oversee products and services for issuers relating to corporate governance, risk, ethics and compliance. Most recently, she served as head of NYSE Sales and Relationship Management.

Carsten Kengeter Names Next CEO of  DEUTSCHE BÖRSE
October 27, 2014
Kengeter will take over in June 2015, following current CEO Reto Francioni’s planned retirement. Francioni has held the position since 2005. Most recently, Kengeter worked at UBS.

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