Qatar Stock Exchange, in cooperation with FTSE Russel and Qatar Financial Centre, held a senior level sustainability and ESG engagement session, titled QSE & FTSE Russell Smart Sustainability Forum, with the aim to promote the business case for ESG and sustainability, outline QSE’s sustainability action plan to attract responsible investors, provide an overview of global investor assessment approaches to ESG, and serve as the soft launch for the QSE Sustainability and ESG Dashboard.
The participants discussed various topics in relation with integration and implementation practices of ESG factors in an asset allocation framework and investment strategy. The participating speakers and panelists also discussed how does sustainability add to performance in investment portfolios; and why should listed companies care about reporting on their ESG performance and climate change strategy; and how can FTSE Russell and QSE help listed companies meet the new demands of investors; and what can regulators and exchanges do to capitalize on this new investment trend and attract global liquidity.
Commenting on the event, Mr. Hussein M. Al Abdullah, QSE Marketing and Communication Director, said that this event is centered on the subject of smart sustainability, which combines traditional smart factors such as Value, Quality, Momentum, Low Volatility and Size with sustainability parameters such as ESG practices and climate change to achieve investment performance.
Al Abdullah highlighted QSE support of sustainability: “Qatar Stock Exchange strongly supports the ambitions of reaching a well-informed investment environment and believe that by undertaking this engagement session, we will promote the sustainability agenda among our investors, listed companies and the business community within the State of Qatar and thus contribute to the realisation of the human, economic, social and environmental pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030.”
“Investors worldwide are increasingly incorporating sustainability factors into their investment decisions, and we are convinced that companies that effectively communicate their sustainability strategies will improve their capital raising abilities and have an overall competitive advantage”, Mr. Al-Abdullah added.
“Qatar Stock Exchange was the best performing market in the developed and emerging markets last year. We attracted net foreign inflows of 2.5 billion dollars in 2018 and the trend continues to date where we have attracted over 1.3 billion dollars year-to-date. QSE is positioning its self to be a premier investment destination in the region for systematic and sustainable investments, Al-Abdullah added.
In 2016, QSE joined the UN’s Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative and published ESG reporting guidelines for listed companies. We are working with our regulator on a plan towards mandatory ESG disclosure requirements in the foreseeable future. I would like to thank them for their support and cooperation on this matter, AL Abdullah concluded.
Qatar Stock Exchange has made great strides in the field of transition to sustainable Stock Exchange through the promotion of the best disclosure, investor relations and ESG practices among the market stakeholders.
Waqas Samad, group director of information services, LSEG pointed out the importance of sustainability practices, noting that this issue has become one of the factors that affect the appetite of international investors and portfolio managers to trade in the shares of companies listed in the global indices.