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Lebanon to be included in first ESG index for region.

Byline: Daily Star Staff

Summary: Standard & Poor's, the Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance and Credit Rating and Information Services of India Ltd indicated that Lebanon will be included in the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) index, the first of its kind to be launched in the Middle East and North Africa region, as reported by Lebanon This Week.

BEIRUT: Standard & Poor's, the Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance and Credit Rating and Information Services of India Ltd indicated that Lebanon will be included in the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) index, the first of its kind to be launched in the Middle East and North Africa region, as reported by Lebanon This Week, the economic publication of the Byblos Bank Group. The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, is helping develop the index.Aa

The index aims to encourage responsible and sustainable investment practices by measuring the environmental, social, and corporate governance performance of hundreds of listed companies in the region. It is intended as a tool to help about 600 listed companies in 11 countries to better understand environmentally and socially responsible investment practices, and the importance of implementing sound corporate governance.Aa

In addition to Lebanon, the index will cover the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.Aa

The project also intends to strengthen and promote environmentally sustainable and socially responsible businesses, which will create greater awareness and adoption of ESG practices by companies as well as increase available financing options.Aa

Hawkamah noted that financial performance indicators have traditionally marked investment decisions, while the index aims to provide the market and investors with a tool focusing on non-financial indicators that are fundamental in assessing the sustainability of a company's future performance.Aa

The International Finance Corporation added that the absence of credible and standardized data about business practices relating to social and environmental concerns is a key barrier limiting the flow of socially responsible investing funds to the region. -- The Daily Star

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Jan 26, 2010
Words:353
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