Tokyo Stock Exchange creates ESG leaders list of major corporates

Sample group outperforms TOPIX benchmark

The Tokyo Stock Exchange has compiled a sample group of leading listed companies based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.
The 15-strong group contains some of Japan’s major companies such as car maker Nissan, finance giant Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, and telecoms provider KDDI.
The selection was created by socially responsible investment advisory firm Good Bankers, which appraised the companies based on ESG factors.

A test portfolio was created from a selection of the 100 companies with the highest ESG score as of May 2012. The price movements of the portfolio for the past five years were then compared to the TOPIX and TOPIX 500 benchmarks, using a base value of 100 as of April 2007. As of April 2012, the ESG group was just under 60 while the main indices were under the 40 mark.
The exchange says: “It is thought that companies appropriately considering and responding to ESG issues coupled with investors investing in such companies will contribute to solving and improving environmental problems and social issues, as well as cultivating and developing a sound capital market.”The initiative, called Looking at Companies Through an ESG Lens is part of a push by the exchange to heighten investor interest in its 2,200+ listed companies.

The full listing:
Asahi Group Holdings: Beverages

Idemitsu Kosan: Petroleum company

Toray Industries: Industrial group

Tsumura & Co.: medicine

Nissan Motor Co.: cars and transportation equipment.

Asahi Holdings: Steel & Nonferrous Metals

Komatsu: Mining and construction equipment manufacture

Nidec Corp.: computer disc drives

KDDI Corp.: telecommunications

Osaka Gas Co. Ltd.: natural gas supplier

Tokyu Corp.: Tokyo area railway operator

Itochu Corp.: general trading

Fast Retailing Co. Ltd.: UNIQLO retailer

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group: banking

Ricoh Leasing: financial services (leasing)