Tunis/Tunisia — The Tunis Stock Exchange (TSE), the Financial Market Council (CMF) and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) on Thursday launched the new Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Reporting Guide.
This guide targets directors, managers and executives of listed companies on the one hand, and the enterprise's stakeholders (auditors, staff representatives, shareholders, investors, etc.) on the other hand," said TSE-CEO Bilel Sahnoun at an information day to present the new ESG guide and the opportunities it offers to listed companies.
This guide is supposed to convince all these stakeholders of the usefulness of the ESG approach for them, for the company and for the community, he added.
Th official explaind that the sought-after objectives are to identify, unify and structure extra-financial communications, as well as setting up a key performance indicator, unifying their reading and interpretation for analysis, classification and comparability purposes.
Concretely, the goal is to finally create an ESG index to address and attract responsible investment funds or those sensitive to green finance.
This instrument will help companies seize the opportunity of green financing, Sahnoun explained, pointing out that out of the $1.5 billion raised by the MENA region, Tunisia barely gets 1% (or $15 million) mainly through the programs of the National Agency for Energy Management (ANME), while 50% of this amount is allocated to Morocco and $400 million to Egypt.
The CEO of the Tunis Stock Exchange also recalled that if the company is a supplier or partner of Europe, it will have more and more constraints in terms of energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions, decarbonisation, gender equality, social conditions and modes of governance.
"We all know that there will be an alignment between finance and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set up by the United Nations," he indicated, considering that this alignment will bring to the Tunisian market more transparency and a reduction of information asymmetry through extra-financial communication.
He further explained that the ESG policies adopted by companies have helped them achieve a valuation rate of 30% of their securities.
Taking the floor, CMF President Salah Sayel affirmed that the introduction, through the ESG guide, of this new concept of extra-financial reporting within the framework of the Tunisian stock market, will have a positive impact on Tunisian companies, recalling that extra-financial reporting includes all actions taken by a company beyond its legal obligations to contribute to the challenges of sustainable development, on the social, environmental and economic levels.
Sayel indicated that the CMF, as the guarantor of transparency on the financial market, will closely monitor the evolution of practices to ensure the relevance and quality of the information made available to the public in general and to investors in particular.
Resident Representative of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Tunisia Georgeos Joseph Ghorra emphasized in his remarks, the importance of the ESG guide which is essential to get financing from the IFC.
"This new guide, the first publication of its kind in Tunisia, testifies to the country's willingness to hold a strategic position in terms of ESG in order to comply with the best global standards and to attract foreign investments," he said.