First Middle East Exchange launches Corporate Climate Change Disclosure Initiative
The Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) signed an agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, where the agreement was signed by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ASE, Dr. Kamal Al Qudah, and on behalf of IFC Ms. Mary Porter Peschka, Director of the Environment, Social & Governance (ESG) department at IFC, by which the IFC will provide technical support and training to the employees of the Exchange and its listed companies to enhance their knowledge and awareness with regard to issues and subjects related to the disclosure and reporting on actions undertaken by companies to address the challenge of climate change, in addition to supporting the development and launching of a climate disclosure guidance to serve as a manual for implementation by listed companies.
The ASE will be the first exchange in the Middle East to launch such a guide, which will explain the procedures and reports needed to disclose climate change by listed companies.
The CEO of the ASE Mr. Mazen Wathaifi said that the signing of the agreement is a continuation of the Exchange's approach in its ongoing endeavour to enhance the competitiveness of the national capital market and its listed companies and to apply the best international standards and practices for various activities in the market including disclosure and transparency standards, with the aim of enhancing the investment climate in the market and enhancing the competitiveness and attractiveness of Jordanian companies for domestic and foreign investment. The application of climate change disclosure is one of the latest international standards and practices for disclosure and transparency applied by the world's exchanges and viewed with interest by the world's investors and investment fund managers.
Wathaifi added that this agreement also came within the framework of the implementation of the projects of the strategic plan of the ASE, which includes the project for the application of Sustainability Standards by companies included in the ASE20 Index, climate change disclosure will be part of the companies' sustainability report. This will enhance the company's reputation, brand and its contribution to the local community, raise the level of satisfaction of the company's workforce, and maintain the overall safety of the company's operational activities, reflecting positively on its position in the market among competitors.
In this regard, IFC’s Levant Country Manager Abdullah Jefri said that Mitigating climate-related financial risk is a priority going forward. We are delighted to support the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) in launching the region’s first climate guidance reporting initiative. In addition to strengthening companies' climate disclosure practices, this initiative will also support ASE in meeting the growing investor demand for companies engaged in sustainable business activities,”.
The workshop witnessed the participation of more than 100 people representing selected decision makers in the relevant government agencies and the CEOs of several financial institutions and listed companies. The workshop aimed to identify the relationship between climate disclosure and investment, and demonstrate the ASE's initiatives to enhance climate reporting and its impact in the Capital Market.