||Asean Affairs 31 May 2013
Thai bourse helps listed companies prepare for sustainable investment trend
BANGKOK, May 29, 2013 – The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) joining with the Government Provident Fund (GPF), RobecoSAM AG, S&P Dow Jones, Mercer and MSCI hosted a seminar titled “Sustainability Investment: Time for Benchmarking” to support listed, securities and asset management companies to prepare for investment trends focused on sustainable business development. Guest speakers having experience in working with mutual funds and institutional investors from around the world shared their points of view at the seminar.
SET President Charamporn Jotikasthira said: “The Thai bourse strongly encourages companies to recognize the significance of sustainable business operation, which can increase their attractiveness to both local and international investors, and our Corporate Social Responsibility Institute (CSRI) will promote CSR operations in the business sector. So far, CSRI has published a CSR report handbook and undertaken educational activities to continuously promote sustainability awareness among companies. CSRI has also promoted Thai firms to be listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, which track the financial performance of leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide. It is pleasure to see these indices invite increasing numbers of Thai listed companies to be evaluated every year.”
“The Thai bourse has, for years, been encouraging companies to operate in a sustainable fashion, by focusing on achieving economic, social and environmental balance as a part of their good corporate governance. Results have been good, as the latest World Bank evaluation indicated that the Thai capital market has notably elevated its level of corporate governance and is becoming a regional leader in corporate governance, with most listed companies disclosing information in a fashion that meets international standards in their annual reports. SET sees more possibilities for firms to disclose information about their CSR operations in a separate sustainability report. By disclosing information other than financial data, investors, who focus on investment responsibility, will have more information to help in
The “Sustainability Investment: Time for Benchmarking” seminar is to help investors realize the importance of ‘responsible investment’, of which worldwide institutional investors have been more aware, and use that information in decision-making. At the same time, listed companies will have opportunities to learn more about investor demand for socially responsible operations. The seminar’s speakers are expert in the area,” Charamporn added.
GPF Secretary-General Sopawadee Lertmanaschai said: “GPF recognizes the importance of selecting socially responsible companies, e.g., our policies call for us to invest in firms that care for the environment, comply with intellectual property laws, engage in moral and ethical practices, do not threaten society’s or the country's security, and conduct themselves transparently.”
“During the past two years, GPF has discussed its concerns on the environment, social responsibility, and good corporate governance with nearly 40 listed companies and the response has been good,” Sopawadee added.
The seminar involved the participation of respected and well-known speakers, including Kathelijne Marritt Alers, Regional Director, RobecoSAM AG; Dr. Xinting Jian, Principal, Head of Responsible Investment, Asia, from Mercer; and Emily Chew, Senior Analyst-MSCI ESG Research from MSCI, who came to exchange their ideas and share their work experience with mutual funds and institutional investors from around the world.