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Bourses urged to improve disclosure

April 2011

The world’s largest stock exchanges have been urged by investors representing $1.6trillion (£1tn, €1.15tn) to deal with their constituents’ inadequate sustainability disclosure.

The investors, led by Aviva and the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, have written to 30 bourses demanding action on the slow progress of large companies’ non-financial reporting.

They suggest that listing requirements for companies should consider how responsible and sustainable their business model is and to put a sustainability strategy to a vote at annual meetings.

The letter, which arises from a partnership among the investors going back to 2008, names and shames the worst offenders on CSR disclosure. Exchanges with the smallest number of companies disclosing such data include those in Australia, Korea and the Philippines, and the US-based Nasdaq. The Paris, Tokyo and Lisbon exchanges were, by contrast, among the best-performing.

Paul Abberley, chief executive of Aviva Investors, said: ‘Markets are driven by information. A lack of information as a result of limited or non-disclosure of [CSR] data makes it difficult for long-term investors such as us to assess the wider [CSR] risks and opportunities associated with a company.

‘We believe that stock exchanges can play a crucial role in helping to create more sustainable global capital markets because of their ability to directly influence and monitor the operations and strategy of companies seeking to access the equity markets. This can only be a good thing for investors.’




Aviva | Global | SRI

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