Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Indian agency wins IFC grant

November 2006

The Indian CSR consultancy Crisil has become one of five organizations around the world to win the Capturing Value research competition run by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The five share a $500,000 (£267,000) grant.

The aim of the competition is to provide investors in emerging market equities with better research on companies’ environmental, social and corporate governance performance and to bring about high-quality, long-term investment in those markets.

The IFC, which is the World Bank’s private arm, paid particular attention to contestants’ ability to aid market development and raise environmental, social and corporate governance standards.

Rachel Kyte, the IFC’s environment and social development director, said: ‘Through this seed funding we are hoping to break a chicken-and-egg situation where investors will not invest in emerging markets for lack of information, and research providers will not enter the market for lack of demand. The object of the competition is to lead the market and to provide tools to a mainstream investment audience.’

Subir Gokarn, Crisil executive director and chief economist, said: ‘In our view, increased transparency in emerging market companies in environmental and socially responsible behaviour and governance can act as a strong incentive for investors. They often view performance on those dimensions as a proxy for management quality.

‘In creating an environmental, social and corporate governance index of Indian companies, our goal is to develop a new market instrument that aligns investor and public interest and which can be replicated in other emerging markets.’

The other winners were: CLSA, a brokerage, investment banking and private equity group in the Asia-Pacific markets; KLD, an independent investment research company in the US; and Trucost, a British environmental research business.

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