London, December 15 2014 – The S&P/Hawkamah ESG Pan Arab Index underwent its annual rebalancing on 1 December 2014. The index includes the top 50 Pan Arab companies based on their performance on nearly 200 ESG metrics and uses an innovative ESG score-weighting scheme to ensure stocks with higher ESG scores have a greater influence on the index than those with lower ESG scores.
David Blitzer, Managing Director and head of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices said: “Following this year’s rebalance, Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the index, with 11 constituents and a total weight of 21.54%. The two largest stocks in the index are DP World of Dubai and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, which make up 2.91% and 2.79% of the index respectively, due to their high ESG score. While stocks from the Financials sector continue to dominate the index with 52.36%, there are now 8 representatives from the Telecommunications sector, which now represents 15.96% of the index.”
Dr. Ashraf Gamal, Chief Executive Officer of Hawkamah, said: ‘As part of Hawkamah’s work on the index, we annually analyze the ESG disclosure practices of MENA listed companies. Now, Hawkamah has data covering the past seven years, so investors have better time series on which they can base their investment decisions. What we can say with confidence is that the trends are encouraging as we continue to see significant year-on-year improvements. The various corporate governance codes issued by the region’s regulators and corporate governance centers in the last few years have played a key role in these improvements. Companies are now seeing the value of better disclosure and many of them are striving to adopt international best practices. We are equally encouraged by the index performance over the years.’