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IFC Awards Grant to CRISIL, Standard & Poor's, KLD, Trucost, and CLSA to Study Environmental and Social Data for Emerging Market Equity Investors

Submitted by: International Finance Corporation

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions

Posted: Sep 27, 2006 – 04:01 PM EST

 

Zürich - Today, the International Finance Corporation, the private arm of the World Bank, awarded a $500,000 grant to CRISIL, Standard & Poor's, and KLD; and to Trucost and CLSA, the winners of its research competition "Capturing Value." The competition aims to provide investors in emerging market equities with better research on companies' environmental, social, and corporate governance performance and facilitate high-quality, long-term investment in emerging markets from pension funds and other investors worldwide.

In choosing the winners, IFC paid particular attention to the ability of their projects to catalyze market development and capacity to raise the level of environmental, social, and corporate governance performance. IFC also focused on analytical tools that would bring a broad range of investors into the debate.

Rachel Kyte, Director of IFC's Environment and Social Development Department, said, "Through this seed funding we are hoping to break a chicken-and-egg situation where investors will not invest in emerging markets for lack of information, and research providers will not enter the market for lack of demand. The object of the competition is to lead the market and to provide tools to a mainstream investment audience."

Subir Gokarn, Executive Director and Chief Economist of CRISIL, said, "In our view, increased transparency in emerging market companies in environmental and socially responsible behavior and governance can act as a strong incentive for investors. They often view performance on those dimensions as a proxy for management quality. In creating an environmental, social, and corporate governance index of Indian companies, our goal is to develop a new market instrument that aligns investor and public interest and that can be replicated in other emerging markets."

Simon Thomas, Chief Executive of Trucost, said, "It is hugely important that the environmental costs associated with growth in emerging economies are realized, and the provision of good-quality quantitative data means this can be achieved. Trucost will use its expertise in measuring environmental impacts and for the first time create a database of information on the environmental consequences of production in emerging economy companies."

About the competition

In April 2006, IFC invited a wide range of organizations, including research houses, rating firms, index providers, and others, to compete for a $500,000 research grant. The winning proposal was selected by IFC and a six-person panel of independent experts drawn from the UN Global Compact, First State Investments, the World Resources Institute, the World Federation of Exchanges, the Association for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia, and OnValues.

The funding for Capturing Value is provided by IFC and the governments of Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The mandate for the initiative is to contribute to private sector development and poverty alleviation by facilitating environmental and social best practice in the private financial sector.

About IFC

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private enterprise in developing countries. IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to businesses and governments. From its founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. With the support of funding from donors, it has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory services. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About CRISIL

CRISIL is India's leading ratings, financial news, risk, and policy advisory company. CRISIL leverages its core strengths of credibility and analytical rigor to deliver opinions and solutions that help clients mitigate and manage their business and financial risks, make markets function better, and help shape public policy. CRISIL supports these through its unique range of product and service offerings. CRISIL's majority shareholder is Standard & Poor's, the world's foremost provider of independent credit ratings, indices, risk evaluation, investment research, and data. For more information, visit www.crisil.com.

About Standard & Poor's

Standard & Poor's is the world's foremost provider of independent credit ratings, indices, risk evaluation, investment research, data and valuations. With approximately 6,500 employees located in 22 countries, Standard & Poor's is an essential part of the world's financial infrastructure and has played a leading role for more than 140 years in providing investors with the independent benchmarks they need to feel more confident about their investment and financial decisions. For more information, visit www.standardandpoors.com.

About KLD Research & Analytics, Inc.

KLD Research & Analytics, Inc., is an independent investment research firm providing investment management tools used by professionals to serve clients requiring investment strategies based on social and environmental responsibility. Since 1988, institutional investors, managers, trustees, consultants, and advisors have depended on the quality and expertise of KLD. For more information, visit www.kld.com.

About Trucost

Trucost Plc is an environmental research business that helps companies and investors understand the environmental impacts of business activities in financial terms. Trucost offers expert advice and research to major corporations, both public and private, to institutional investors, and to government departments and associated agencies. Trucost wrote the environmental reporting guidelines for UK business with the UK government, released in January 2006. For more information visit www.trucost.com.

About CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets

CLSA is a leading brokerage, investment banking, and private equity group in the Asia-Pacific markets. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Hong Kong, CLSA's major shareholder is France's Credit Agricole, which merged in 2003 with Credit Lyonnais, to form the fifth largest bank in the world by assets and the fifth largest bank in the world by Tier One capital. CLSA enjoys substantial staff ownership, which contributes to its independent stance and operations. More information can be found at www.clsa.com.

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