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New DJSI sustainable emerging markets index launched with $681bn market cap

69-component benchmark unveiled to meet evolving market needs

The venerable Dow Jones Sustainable Indices (DJSI) family has a new member covering emerging markets.

The DJSI Emerging Markets index has gone live with a market capitalisation of $681bn (€501.6bn) and 69 components.

It has been launched by RobecoSAM, the Zurich-based sustainability boutique formerly known as SAM and index firm S&P Dow Jones Indices, in response to investor demand.

It aims to offers a tool for measuring the performance of companies that RobecoSAM has recognized as leaders in corporate sustainability via its Corporate Sustainability Assessment. It also provides “an effective engagement platform” to encourage companies from emerging markets to adopt sustainability.

“As the emerging markets have come of age, demand for a regional benchmark for sustainability investors has increased and we can now offer an appropriate product,” said Guido Giese, Head of Indexes at RobecoSAM.

The index is said to be first of kind in the market and has been launched in response to the “evolving needs” of the global investment community. Constituents are selected using the same criteria as the DJSI family, which was launched in 1999.Sixty-nine companies from 20 countries were selected out of 800 emerging market firms that were found to be eligible.

The index has a 27.77% allocation to Brazil, according to its factsheet. China accounts for 21.72%, South Africa 15.71% and Taiwan 15.45%. It can be customised to meet investor requirements such as values or faith based exclusions.

“Demand for a regional benchmark for sustainability investors has increased”

The largest companies in the index are Taiwan Semiconductor, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, China Mobile and Brazil’s Itau Unibanco and Petroleo Brasileiro.

It comes as the main DJSI World index has returned 2.13% so far this year (in euros) and 13.73% in 2012. Since inception it has returned an annualised 6.27%.

Earlier this week RobecoSAM’s parent was acquired by Japan’s ORIX Corp. for €1.9bn. Announcement