KARACHI: The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has joined the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative.

The SSE Initiative is a partnership programme under the auspices of the UN and organised by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the UN Global Compact, the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

The affiliation of PSX with SSE has taken place with effect from 6th June, 2022.

The SSE Initiative’s goal is to enhance capacity of stock exchanges and securities market regulators around the world to promote responsible investment under sustainable development and help improve corporate performance on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, including the financing of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SSE Initiative is an effort to achieve this goal through maintenance of a Sustainable Stock Exchanges Database, ESG Disclosure Guidance Database, and further guidelines on how stock exchanges can embed sustainability within their operations, promote green finance, and advance gender equality, among other activities.

Speaking on the occasion, PSX Managing Director and CEO Farrukh H. Khan described it as a significant development for Pakistan, whereby the national stock exchange of the country has become a member of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative.

PSX, as the frontline regulator, is proud to join the prestigious UN initiative, he said. “Under the leadership of PSX Chairperson Dr Shamshad Akhtar, PSX, along with other key stakeholders, has formed an ESG Taskforce to lead the development of ESG reporting standards, advocacy, policies and discourse in Pakistan,” he said.

Through this affiliation, PSX will be better equipped to champion and lead the ESG narrative for Pakistan’s listed companies and for PSX. “While we had already taken the initial steps in this regard, the SSE membership will help to guide the direction to be taken by PSX and the ESG Taskforce in terms of creating ESG reporting standards and procedures,” he said.

This will enable analysts, fund managers and other investors to better assess the performance of listed companies, along with guiding the efforts on constructing the ESG or Sustainability Index for the Pakistani market, he added.

He acknowledged and thanked the UN for leading this extremely important initiative and said PSX is proud to be part of the global movement.

“Pakistan is committed to ESG and PSX looks forward to playing a key role in the development of ESG standards, reporting and dialogue in the country,” he remarked.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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