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2004 launch for South African index

November 2003

A South African socially responsible investment index will be launched in early 2004 according to its originators, the FTSE Group and the Johannesburg Securities Exchange.

The two companies have now set out the final criteria on which companies will be included, and have commissioned research firm Sustainability Research and Intelligence to collate the data on which decisions will be made.

Nicky Newton-King, JSE director of new business, told EP: ‘We are starting to engage with companies and to begin the screening process. It will take us some time to analyze the data, but we expect to launch the index early next year.’

The universe for the SRI Index will be the 160 largest companies by market capitalization listed on the JSE, which is the world’s 15th largest stock exchange by market capitalization.

Companies that choose to participate in the index will have until 30 November to submit relevant data.

Most of the information will be collected by questionnaire to ensure that it relates directly to the criteria, which were unveiled last month. They are linked to a complex scoring system that awards firms marks for their performance in areas including social reporting, HIV/Aids policies and programmes, stakeholder dialogue, black empowerment and labour standards.

FTSE and the JSE stress that the criteria will evolve over time, under the gaze of an advisory committee which includes Sean de Cleene of the African Institute of Corporate Citizenship, Malcolm Gray of Investec and Eric Ratshikhopa of Xstrata Coal.




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