The first ESG index of Middle Eastern and North African companies will be launched later this year. The index is being launched by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) alongside the Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance in Dubai, and Credit Rating and Information Services of India (Crisil), who are developing the ESG part of the index with financial support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The index is expected to comprise about 50-75 stocks from a total universe of 400 companies in 11 countries, scored by ESGperformance and screened for transparency and disclosure, and based on S&P and CRISIL proprietary methodology. Alka Banerjee, vice president, global equities at S&P’s Index Services business, said the company planned to shortly start back-testing on performance of the index before carrying out an investor consultation in a couple of months before deciding on a launch date. The countries included in the index are Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Tunisia.