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AfricaMoney | July 25, 2017

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With the launch of the SEMSI index the SEM is the second sub-Saharan Africa to promote the sustainable development.

With the launch of the SEMSI index the SEM is the second sub-Saharan Africa to promote the sustainable development.

With the launch of Sustainability Index, the Stock Exchange of Mauritius becomes the second stock exchange of sub-Saharan Africa to promote the sustainable development through a stock index and index which allows companies to measure their impact on the environment, society and the economy.

The Stock Exchange of Mauritius (SEM) Launch the SEMSI index this September 2015,to promote sustainability, good governance and transparent business practices.

The SEMSI tracks the price-performance of those companies listed on the Official Market or the Development & Enterprise Market which demonstrate strong sustainability practices.

SEMSI provides a robust measure of listed companies against a set of internationally aligned and locally relevant environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. It offers a useful tool for domestic and international investors with an appetite for responsible investment in frontier markets.

There has been, over the past few years, an increasing awareness at the corporate level in Mauritius about the need to include the sustainability variable in the business equation.  Given its pivotal role in the economy, the SEM found itself in a unique position to bring its support to those listed companies which are already actively pursuing sustainability initiatives, while also facilitating responsible investment.

By setting up SEMSI, the SEM has taken a leading role in creating a more sustainable capital market. This forward-thinking initiative makes SEM the second Exchange in sub-Saharan Africa to promote sustainability through a Sustainability Index.

SEMSI has an integrated approach and takes into consideration all four key pillars of sustainability being economic, environmental, social and corporate governance.

The SEMSI criteria of eligibility are based on the Global Reporting Initiative G4 Guidelines and are aligned with international ESG and related sustainability issues, while also taking local imperatives into account.

The criteria are intended to be up-to-date and developed over time, with the aim of encouraging constant improvement in sustainability performance.

Alongside the SEMSI creates value for investors by helping investors to make better informed investment decisions.

The   SEMSI constituents have been screened against established ESG criteria therefore there is a potential share price premium for companies meeting the minimum criteria to be included in SEMSI and the new index may be used to develop new investment products.

The SEMSI also creates value for listed companies in terms, incentivising investors, reputational benefits, promoting stakeholder engagement and inclusiveness, expanding their business horizons and working towards long-term viability and resilience, benchmarking against international standards and peers.

Moreover the assessment methodology of SEMSI provides guidelines for companies on what to measure and where to improve.  This can help companies understand and manage their social and environmental risks and opportunities.

The SEMSI Constituents for  2015-2017 includes 13 companies where 8 are listed on the Official Market (OM) and the rest being on the Development and Enterprise Market (DEM).

OM listed companies in the SEMSI index includes Ireland Blyth Limited, Innodis Ltd, Lux Island Resorts Ltd, MCB Group Ltd, Mauritius Oil Refineries Ltd, Omnicane Ltd, Rogers and Company Limited, Terra Mauricia Ltd

Finally on the DEM market there are CIEL Textile Limited, Compagnie Immobilière Limitée, Margarine Industries Limited, RHT Holdings Ltd and Vital Water Bottling Co. Ltd

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