Posted on March 18, 2017

The Middle East Sustainable Investment Forum (MESIF) was launched today with the goal of driving the responsible investing movement in Qatar and across the Middle East. The meeting, which convened at Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE), hosted a large number of influential group of leading banks, investment firms, and QSE-listed companies to explore the business case for ESG investing and to set a course of action for the SIF. 

Commenting on the occasion CEO of QSE Rashid Bin Ali Al Mansouri stated: "Qatar Stock Exchange strongly supports the ambitions of the Middle East SIF and believe that by joining this forum, we will be better equipped to promote the sustainability agenda among our investors, listed companies and the business community within the State of Qatar and thus contribute to the realization of the National Vision." "Investors worldwide are increasingly incorporating sustainability factors into their investment decisions, and we are convinced that companies that effectively communicate their sustainability strategies will improve their capital raising abilities and have an overall competitive advantage", Mr. Al Mansouri added.

The Middle East SIF is initiated by Sustainability Excellence, a leading driver of sustainability management in the Arab region. CEO Darin Rovere commented on the event and expressed his delight to launch it. "The Forum will support the growing interest in ESG among regional investors while alerting international investors to the ESG investment opportunity in the region," he added. 

There are more than 20 SIFs around the world that have played important roles in creating awareness of the key role of investors in driving sustainability practices through investment decisions. Head of ESG Invest, the independent ESG ratings division of Sustainability Excellence Houssam Lahrech said that Investors worldwide now recognize the positive relationship between sound environmental, social and governance performance, and a company’s financial performance. He added that Responsible investing offers opportunities for long-term value creation for both investors and society as a whole. 

Globally, the leading advocate of ESG investing is the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI). Graeme Griffiths, Global Network and Outreach Director for UNPRI and Adrian Bertrand, Head of Africa and Middle East of UNPRI also presented at today’s meeting and demonstrated how strongly ESG considerations are being factored and how extensively ESG-minded investing is moving into mainstream investment analysis. The six Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) are a voluntary and aspirational set of investment principles that offer a menu of possible actions for incorporating ESG issues into investment practice.