Zürich, Sept. 27, 2006 – Today,
the International Finance Corporation, the private arm of the World Bank,
awarded a $500,000 grant to CRISIL, Standard & Poor’s, and KLD; and
to Trucost and CLSA, the winners of its research competition “Capturing
Value.” The competition aims to provide investors in emerging market equities
with better research on companies’ environmental, social, and corporate
governance performance and facilitate high-quality, long-term investment
in emerging markets from pension funds and other investors worldwide.
In choosing the winners, IFC paid particular attention to the ability of
their projects to catalyze market development and capacity to raise the
level of environmental, social, and corporate governance performance. IFC
also focused on analytical tools that would bring a broad range of investors
into the debate.
Rachel Kyte, Director of IFC’s Environment and Social Development Department,
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, Executive Director and Chief Economist of CRISIL, said, “In
our view, increased transparency in emerging market companies in environmental
and socially responsible behavior 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 that can be replicated
in other emerging markets.”
Simon Thomas, Chief Executive of Trucost, said, “It is hugely important
that the environmental costs associated with growth in emerging economies
are realized, and the provision of good-quality quantitative data means
this can be achieved. Trucost will use its expertise in measuring environmental
impacts and for the first time create a database of information on the
environmental consequences of production in emerging economy companies.”
About the competition
In April 2006, IFC invited a wide range of organizations, including research
houses, rating firms, index providers, and others, to compete for a $500,000
research grant. The winning proposal was selected by IFC and a six-person
panel of independent experts drawn from the UN Global Compact, First State
Investments, the World Resources Institute, the World Federation of Exchanges,
the Association for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia, and
The funding for Capturing Value is provided by IFC and the governments
of Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, and the United
Kingdom. The mandate for the initiative is to contribute to private
sector development and poverty alleviation by facilitating environmental
and social best practice in the private financial sector.
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private
enterprise in developing countries. IFC finances private sector investments,
mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade,
helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides
technical assistance and advice to businesses and governments. From its
founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion
of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world
and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies
in 140 developing countries. With the support of funding from donors, it
has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory
services. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
CRISIL is India’s leading ratings, financial news, risk, and policy advisory
company. CRISIL leverages its core strengths of credibility and analytical
rigor to deliver opinions and solutions that help clients mitigate and
manage their business and financial risks, make markets function better,
and help shape public policy. CRISIL supports these through its unique
range of product and service offerings. CRISIL’s majority shareholder
is Standard & Poor’s, the world’s foremost provider of independent
credit ratings, indices, risk evaluation, investment research, and data.
For more information, visit www.crisil.com.
About Standard & Poor's
Standard & Poor's is the world's foremost provider of independent credit
ratings, indices, risk evaluation, investment research, data and valuations.
With approximately 6,500 employees located in 22 countries, Standard &
Poor's is an essential part of the world's financial infrastructure and
has played a leading role for more than 140 years in providing investors
with the independent benchmarks they need to feel more confident about
their investment and financial decisions. For more information, visit www.standardandpoors.com.
About KLD Research & Analytics, Inc.
KLD Research & Analytics, Inc., is an independent investment research
firm providing investment management tools used by professionals to serve
clients requiring investment strategies based on social and environmental
responsibility. Since 1988, institutional investors, managers, trustees,
consultants, and advisors have depended on the quality and expertise of
KLD. For more information, visit www.kld.com.
Trucost Plc is an environmental research business that helps companies
and investors understand the environmental impacts of business activities
in financial terms. Trucost offers expert advice and research to major
corporations, both public and private, to institutional investors, and
to government departments and associated agencies. Trucost wrote the environmental
reporting guidelines for UK business with the UK government,
released in January 2006. For more
information visit www.trucost.com.
About CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets
CLSA is a leading brokerage, investment banking, and private equity group
in the Asia-Pacific markets. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Hong
Kong, CLSA’s major shareholder is France's Credit Agricole, which merged
in 2003 with Credit Lyonnais, to form the fifth largest bank in the world
by assets and the fifth largest bank in the world by Tier One capital.
CLSA enjoys substantial staff ownership, which contributes to its independent
stance and operations. More information can be found at www.clsa.com.