* Stock exchanges should force greater disclosure-investors
LONDON Feb 21 Institutional investors managing
more than $1.6 trillion in assets want the world's 30 largest
stock exchanges to shake up listing rules to force companies to
improve their sustainability reporting.
The 24 shareholders said they want it to be easier to judge
the environmental, social and governance risks (ESG) of the
firms they invest in.
A large number of companies listed on Euronext Paris, Tokyo
Stock Exchange, Helsinki, Euronext Amsterdam, Euronext Lisbon
and Borsa Italiana were disclosing good levels of ESG data, the
investors said in an open letter.
Exchanges with the least number of companies disclosing this
data included Australian Stock Exchange, NASDAQ GS, Korea
Exchange, Santiago Stock Exchange and Philippine Stock Exchange.
"A lack of information as a result of limited or
non-disclosure of ESG data makes it difficult for long-term
investors such as us to assess the wider ESG risks and
opportunities associated with a company," said Paul Abberley,
chief executive of Aviva Investors London and one of the most
vocal supporters of the initiative.
"We believe that stock exchanges can play a crucial role in
helping to create more sustainable global capital markets
because of their ability to directly influence and monitor...
companies seeking to access the equity markets," he said.
Allianz Global Investors Investments Europe, the Australian
Council of Super Investors, Dexia Asset Management, The
Co-operative Asset Management and Trillium Asset Management were
among the signatories to the letter.
(Reporting by Sinead Cruise, editing by David Cowell)