The Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE) has partnered with MSCI to launch an environmental, social and governance (ESG) tradable index in response to the growing trend of sustainable investing. 

The MSCI QSE 20 ESG Index will identify the top 20 securities within the MSCI Qatar IMI Index that demonstrate the best ESG profile, the bourse said in a statement. 

A first for the Qatari equity market, the launch of the index marks the first cooperation between the Qatar Stock Exchange and the global securities index publisher. 

“We are responding to investor demand with the launch of this index. The market has been quite vocal – sustainable investing is now a critical part of the decision-making process,” said Rashid Al Mansoori, CEO of Qatar Stock Exchange. 

“We expect the index to act as a barometer for local companies in terms of ESG performance. Promotion in the index based on improving ESG scores should and will be an aspiration of all our listed companies.” 

According to Henry Fernandez, Chairman and CEO of MSCI, there has been a growing demand for ESG tradable indexes particularly among institutional investors. 

“Institutional investors increasingly want tradable indexes that incorporate sustainability into liquid instruments to provide access to specific equity markets. We are pleased to work with the Qatar Stock Exchange to make such products more widely available.” 

Interest in ESG investing has increased in recent years amid growing concerns over climate change, economic crisis and social unrest, among other issues.  

The number of professional investors implementing ESG grew by 18 percent since 2018, according to a global Natixis survey released in April this year. 

The growth accelerated last year, with record inflows into ESG funds and an unprecedented number of ESG product launches. 

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Daniel Luiz ) 

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© ZAWYA 2021