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Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange issues ESG disclosure guidelines

Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, or ADX, issued environmental, social and governance disclosure guidelines, composed of 31 key performance indicators for listed companies, to boost its competitiveness and attract more socially responsible investments.

The bourse said in its July 27 statement that the guidelines will support economic growth, provide a sustainable trading environment and encourage societal sustainability practices within the business community.

Under the new guidelines, listed companies will be obligated to disclose critical ESG issues and submit independent sustainability reports in line with the Global Reporting Initiative. This will enable the country to tap into the $83 trillion that various asset management funds allocate to companies adhering to ESG standards.

These reports, which aggregate a company's environmental, social and corporate disclosure content in one place, are important because investors consider a lack of sustainability disclosures an indicator that a company may be unable to minimize sustainability risks or seize opportunities.

Companies are expected to release sustainability reports by the end of 2019. ADX plans to hold workshops to clarify the criteria, explain how to report on them and explain how to respond to queries from companies.