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postgraduate thesis: Socially responsible investment indices in Asian markets : merging stakeholder theories with social construction for improved index construction methodology

TitleSocially responsible investment indices in Asian markets : merging stakeholder theories with social construction for improved index construction methodology
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Ho, C. M. [何晶晶]. (2012). Socially responsible investment indices in Asian markets : merging stakeholder theories with social construction for improved index construction methodology. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5108654
AbstractThe growth of the managed investment industry brings with it the potential for institutional investors to exert their influence on boards of listed companies to deliver strong and sustainable growth. The concepts of socially responsible investment (SRI), responsible investment (RI) or ethical investment (EI) have become part of mainstream investment practices in many financial markets. While SRI is largely a qualitative concept, its survival and adoption by the mainstream investment community may, in part, be due to the formalising of its concepts into language that investors, asset managers and analysts can more readily understand: the benchmark index. SRI indices may hold the key to attracting attention to ESG issues in listed corporates and to help bring about positive outcomes in sustainable development. Figures show SRI investments in emerging markets are minimal when compared to those in developed markets but emerging markets hold great potential for growth and development of these tools. This research develops a tool for bringing together social construction theory and stakeholder theory in understanding the construction of SRI Indices and in development of new indices. The core of this research is an analysis of SRI indices in three major emerging markets of Hong Kong, India and China, together with an analysis of different perspectives of SRI in Asia. The purpose is to identify opportunities to building SRI indices through a stakeholder engagement approach. The research was conducted over several phases between October 2008 and August 2010 and can be defined by three different studies: 1. a comparative study on SRI indices and their ESG criteria; 2. a comparative study on SRI indices and their stakeholder engagement approach; and 3. an analysis on the feasibility of building SRI indices in Asian markets. The findings from the three studies indicate three main arguments. First, ESG assessment and criteria of SRI indices does have an impact on the creditability and value of the SRI indices. Due to the lack of transparency on the ESG assessment and criteria, SRI investors and other stakeholder groups are deterred from adopting SRI indices as SRI tool. Second, stakeholder engagement is essential for SRI indices. And lastly, SRI indices in emerging markets, especially in the three studied markets, are attractive to both global and local SRI investors; however, these SRI indices need to include local ESG contexts to reflect the actual ESG concerns of the societies and avoid blindly following developed markets’ SRI index model, which in the end become unrealistic and unpopular to investors and stakeholder groups. We recommend that stakeholder engagement in index criteria and corporate assessment be widened and deepened; that governments and stock exchanges can play a pivotal role in SRI development and should take the lead. We also recommend that SRI indices strengthen the institution of corporate research to rely less on secondary data when making their corporate assessments.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectInvestments - Moral and ethical aspects - Asia
Social responsibility of business - Moral and ethical aspects - Asia
Dept/ProgramKadoorie Institute
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/193511

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorWelford, RJ-
dc.contributor.advisorHills, PR-
dc.contributor.authorHo, Ching-ching, Mary-
dc.contributor.author何晶晶-
dc.date.accessioned2014-01-10T09:45:57Z-
dc.date.available2014-01-10T09:45:57Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationHo, C. M. [何晶晶]. (2012). Socially responsible investment indices in Asian markets : merging stakeholder theories with social construction for improved index construction methodology. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5108654-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/193511-
dc.description.abstractThe growth of the managed investment industry brings with it the potential for institutional investors to exert their influence on boards of listed companies to deliver strong and sustainable growth. The concepts of socially responsible investment (SRI), responsible investment (RI) or ethical investment (EI) have become part of mainstream investment practices in many financial markets. While SRI is largely a qualitative concept, its survival and adoption by the mainstream investment community may, in part, be due to the formalising of its concepts into language that investors, asset managers and analysts can more readily understand: the benchmark index. SRI indices may hold the key to attracting attention to ESG issues in listed corporates and to help bring about positive outcomes in sustainable development. Figures show SRI investments in emerging markets are minimal when compared to those in developed markets but emerging markets hold great potential for growth and development of these tools. This research develops a tool for bringing together social construction theory and stakeholder theory in understanding the construction of SRI Indices and in development of new indices. The core of this research is an analysis of SRI indices in three major emerging markets of Hong Kong, India and China, together with an analysis of different perspectives of SRI in Asia. The purpose is to identify opportunities to building SRI indices through a stakeholder engagement approach. The research was conducted over several phases between October 2008 and August 2010 and can be defined by three different studies: 1. a comparative study on SRI indices and their ESG criteria; 2. a comparative study on SRI indices and their stakeholder engagement approach; and 3. an analysis on the feasibility of building SRI indices in Asian markets. The findings from the three studies indicate three main arguments. First, ESG assessment and criteria of SRI indices does have an impact on the creditability and value of the SRI indices. Due to the lack of transparency on the ESG assessment and criteria, SRI investors and other stakeholder groups are deterred from adopting SRI indices as SRI tool. Second, stakeholder engagement is essential for SRI indices. And lastly, SRI indices in emerging markets, especially in the three studied markets, are attractive to both global and local SRI investors; however, these SRI indices need to include local ESG contexts to reflect the actual ESG concerns of the societies and avoid blindly following developed markets’ SRI index model, which in the end become unrealistic and unpopular to investors and stakeholder groups. We recommend that stakeholder engagement in index criteria and corporate assessment be widened and deepened; that governments and stock exchanges can play a pivotal role in SRI development and should take the lead. We also recommend that SRI indices strengthen the institution of corporate research to rely less on secondary data when making their corporate assessments.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshInvestments - Moral and ethical aspects - Asia-
dc.subject.lcshSocial responsibility of business - Moral and ethical aspects - Asia-
dc.titleSocially responsible investment indices in Asian markets : merging stakeholder theories with social construction for improved index construction methodology-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5108654-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineKadoorie Institute-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5108654-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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