Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and HSBC organized a webinar for global investors about the S&P and Hawkamah UAE ESG Index recently launched by DFM. The webinar enabled a diversified audience of investors to gain knowledge about the new index and its role in strengthening the UAE market competitiveness. This first of its kind index from financial markets in the UAE and the region underlines DFM’s leading role in promoting best practices of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG), as growing numbers of international institutions are factoring ESG into their investment decisions.
Senior industry experts who have addressed inquiries of global investors included; Ashim Paun, Co-Head of ESG Research, HSBC Global Research, Khalifa Rabba, Deputy Division Head of Operations, DFM, Dr Ashraf Gamaleldin CEO, Hawkamah Middle East Institute for Corporate Governance and Jaspreet Duhra, Senior Director, S&P Dow Jones Indices. The webinar attracted 143 investors from 19 countries.
During the webinar, panelists shed light on the latest global and regional ESG investment trends and how the new index tracks the top-performing sustainable companies listed across the UAE exchanges.
The new index consists of 20 companies listed on the UAE markets and it was launched by the DFM on 22 April 2020 in cooperation with S&P Dow Jones Indices, the world’s largest, global resource for index-based concepts, data and research, as well as the Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance in the UAE (Hawkamah), DFM’s strategic partner in the field of promoting best practices of corporate governance amongst listed companies.
This webinar is part of the various activities of the DFM Sustainability Committee formed in 2019 to streamline the implementation of the DFM Sustainability Strategy 2025, aiming at transforming the DFM into the leading sustainable regional exchange by 2025 through multiple initiatives such as the new index.
His Excellency Essa Kazim, Chairman of DFM said: “Since 2016, the DFM has been actively promoting best practices of ESG amongst market participants. Accordingly, we are delighted to cooperate with HSBC to jointly organize this webinar about the S&P/Hawkamah UAE ESG index, DFM’s most recent initiative to attract investments from a larger base of international investors, who are increasingly factoring ESG practices within their decision-making process. The new index provides a reliable gauge on listed companies’ commitment to ESG. It also enables listed companies to measure their ESG performance and helps them to attract investments from ESG and Responsible Investing-driven institutions.”
Abdulfattah Sharaf, Chief Executive Officer UAE and Head of International, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, said: “With trillions of dollars of global investments taking ESG related issues into account, there is a tremendous opportunity for UAE listed companies to access a broader investor base by integrating sustainability into their business models and financing activities. HSBC is proud to support corporates and institutions throughout the UAE on their ESG journey and connect them to investors around the world.”
Statistics show that more than 2,300 investment management firms representing $86 trillion in assets under management have pledged to integrate ESG factors in their investment decisions by becoming signatories to the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
It is noteworthy that The DFM is a Partner Exchange Member of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative and has issued in 2019 a comprehensive guide to support listed companies’ sustainability reporting.