RI Sustainable Indices, November 9: the round-up of ESG benchmarks

The latest sustainability developments at indices and exchanges

The Dow Jones Sustainability World Index has returned 10.67% (EUR) in the year to date, according to data to the end of October. Annualized returns over the one- and three-year period are 13.70% and 9.22% respectively. Since inception in 1999, the index has returned 6.08%. The largest constituents are General Electric Co., Microsoft Corp. and Nestle S.A.

The FTSE4Good Global Benchmark Index is up 4.01% on the quarter at 5,386.09, according to data as of November 6. The FTSE4Good Europe is up 3.46% while the FTSE4Good US Benchmark Index is up 2.38%.

Micro-Credit Ratings International Ltd. (M-CRIL) has released its India Indices of Microfinance 2012, measuring the performance of 24 of the largest microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country. It shows that the Indian MFI sector declined by 21% during 2011-12 and as much as 30% since the beginning of the crisis in October 2010. Link

The Dow Jones Islamic Market Titans 100 Index finished October down 2.27%, according to data compiled by S&P Dow Jones Indices. The index measures the performance of 100 of the world’s leading Sharia-compliant stocks. The Dow Jones Global Titans 50 Index, which measures the world’s 50 largest companies, posted an October loss of 2.31%. Link

Building on its State Clean Energy Index, which tracks clean-energy activities at the US state level, cleantech advisory firm Clean Edge is introducing the US Metro Clean Tech Index. The new subscription-based service tracks the clean-tech activities of the top 50 metro regions in the US. The Metro Index provides access to the most relevant clean-tech data for policymakers, economic development agencies, service firms, non-profits, foundations, corporations, and other key stakeholders. Link

MSCI’s KLD 400 social index is up 10.90% on a year-to-date view, according to data. Since inception the measure has returned 4.10% on an annualized basis.The Shanghai Stock Exchange launched its new Environmental Protection Industry Index on September 25. It screens for stocks which have more than 25% revenue derived from themes including: resource Management; clean technology/products; and pollution management. Constituents will be reviewed twice a year, in June and in December. Link

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s annual review of its 74-constituent SRI Index is currently underway. The Advisory Committee meets in mid-November to approve the process, and the results are set to be announced at the end of the month. ESG data provider EIRIS firstly conducts an initial review of all publicly available information. From this a company-specific profile is compiled, assessing the company against the Criteria using public information. The second phase sees the company reviewing this profile.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) firm Sustainalytics has reported that the Jantzi Social Index increased in value by 1.67% during the month of October. “Since inception on January 1, 2000 through October 31, 2012, the JSI has achieved an annualized return of 5.36%, while the S&P/TSX Composite and the S&P/TSX 60 had annualized returns of 5.44% and 5.15% respectively, over the same period,” it said. In September it said it would introduce an annual review process for the index, starting in March 2013.

State Street Global Markets’ Investor Confidence Index for October fell from September’s revised 87.3 to 80.6 – which it said stemmed from “a steep drop in European sentiment”. The European index fell 10.3 points to 94.9 for the month. State Street said: “Institutional investors continue to display a pronounced, almost secular desire to reallocate away from equities and towards fixed income and cash securities, and this desire has accelerated through the recent market correction.”