Spain’s BME launches IBEX ESG index family

Rick Steves

“This new family of indices encourages the sustainability efforts of issuers and offers investors greater transparency, allowing them to invest in companies with a strong sustainability profile.”

Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME) has unveiled the IBEX ESG index family, expanding its portfolio of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) focused indices.

The announcement arrives as the demand for ESG-based investments continues to ascend across global markets, and it also aligns with a broader transition towards responsible investment strategies.

IBEX ESG index family’s methodology developed by Inrate

The methodology behind the new indices has been developed by Inrate, an independent provider specializing in measuring the sustainability impact of companies. To qualify for inclusion, companies must earn an ESG rating of C+ or higher, adhere to the United Nations Global Compact Principles, and must not exceed certain revenue percentages from activities considered detrimental to sustainability.

This new index family consists of two types of indices—IBEX ESG and IBEX® ESG Weighted. The former selects companies based on sustainability criteria and weighs them according to their free float-adjusted capitalization. The latter also uses sustainability criteria for selection but weighs the companies based on their ESG Impact Rating. These indices are calculated in real-time, in three variations: price, total return, and net return.

For the inaugural launch, the IBEX® ESG index family includes 47 Spanish listed companies, such as Acciona, BBVA, and Iberdrola, that met the stringent sustainability criteria. These companies will be reviewed annually, keeping the list updated and dynamic.

A transparent benchmark that measures the sustainability impact of Spanish companies

Carmen López, Head Index Services Spain at BME, emphasized the objective behind the launch. “This index family will serve as a transparent benchmark that measures the sustainability impact of Spanish companies, something that holds significant social and economic importance. BME is deeply committed to this endeavor,” said López.

Marion Leslie, Head Financial Information at SIX and a member of the board at BME, also expressed strong support for the initiative. “This new family of indices encourages the sustainability efforts of issuers and offers investors greater transparency, allowing them to invest in companies with a strong sustainability profile,” Leslie noted.

The IBEX ESG indices bear similarities to the SIX ESG indices used in the Swiss market, highlighting a growing alignment in sustainability assessment metrics across different countries. It reflects an increasing awareness of ESG criteria and its importance in investment decisions among investors and issuers alike.

With these new indices, BME is not merely creating a financial product; it is setting the stage for a broader transformation within the Spanish and potentially European investment landscape. The indices serve as a comprehensive tool for both companies striving to enhance their sustainability performance and investors aiming to allocate capital responsibly.

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