KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 2): Bursa Malaysia Bhd is aiming to bring public listed companies on the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) journey.
In a press conference today following the release of its results for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2020 (FY20), Bursa chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift said at this moment, 75 companies are qualified for the FTSE4Good Bursa Malaysia Index, which has become the local stock exchange's measure for ESG compliance.
"Talking with (Tunku) Alizakri (Raja Muhammad Alias) and members of the investing community, clearly ESG or the pandemic is a call to action. Sustainable companies have outperformed.
"That being said, we at the exchange want to help companies on their journey to sustainability and to that end, we have Bursa sustain, a director of sustainability who will be working with institutional investors' council to actually define what is it that investors are looking for.
"The other piece that we are looking at is to standardise ESG data. There are two elements: one is to provide it in an easy, readable form and the other is looking at the assurance around it, but step by step," said Muhamad Umar.
Just last week, Employees Provident Fund's CEO Alizakri said via an interview with Bloomberg TV that the country's largest pension fund aimed to make all of its investments based on ESG practices by 2030 on the premise that hilding sustainable assets can make it more resilient against future market upheaval.
"We believe that ESG is the vaccine for any crises. When we look back at 2020, and we look at assets that are ESG-compliant, we found that even at the height of Covid-19 they deteriorated at a much lower rate than the other assets," he was reported to have said.