Author: Gordon Platt

The International Finance Corporation has awarded a $500,000 grant to be split by two teams of companies to study environmental, social and corporate governance data for emerging market investors. The first group comprises Crisil, Standard & Poor’s and KLD Research & Analytics. Crisil, India’s leading rating agency, will work with S&P;, which is its main shareholder, and KLD, an independent investment research firm. They plan to create an environmental, social and corporate governance index of Indian companies. “Our goal is to create a new market instrument that aligns investor and public interest and that can be replicated in other emerging markets,” says Subir Hokarn, executive director and chief economist of Crisil.

The second group links Trucost, a UK-based environmental research business, and CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, based in Hong Kong. CLSA’s major shareholder is France’s Credit Agricole. The joint venture will create a database on the environmental consequences of production in emerging market economies.

“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,” says Rachel Kyte, director of IFC’s environment and social development department.

Gordon Platt