Credit Suisse to launch their own social index

Hot off the news that M-Cril will be launching their own social capital exchange, as reported by Santhosh, and also the plans by Xigi.net to create a social capital index that I spoke about some time back, Credit Suisse plans to launch its own Social Responsibility Index. As reported by Microcapital.org:

Credit Suisse will launch in the coming weeks an index that encompasses social responsibility criteria in addition to strong valuation and performance characteristics. The index will be composed of stocks that rank highly on both social responsibility criteria and financial ratios, the latter being defined by HOLT, Credit Suisse’s proprietary financial analysis tool. The index will offer investors exposure to a portfolio of stocks that are screened for strong characteristics in terms of corporate performance, valuation and momentum using HOLT’s proprietary framework. Coupled with a well established method of identifying socially responsible companies, including assessing political, environmental, labor, and human rights issues, the approach used in the systematic screening process has shown in simulations to consistently identify stocks that collectively outperform the market.

This project is part of the bank’s larger push to focus on the social investing and BoP markets as evidenced by other initiatives taken by the company. The full story can be read here.

Midday Newsfeed

Some titillating headlines:

Microfinance:

  • Whole Planet Foundation (WPF), a Whole Foods Market nonprofit that “empowers individuals in the global community through entrepreneurship” recently announced the creation of the Whole Planet Foundation Supplier Alliance for Microcredit (WPFSAM), a coalition of natural foods companies that aims to support the financial endeavours of WPF. The WPFSAM Alliance has pledged USD 1.05 million over three years to fund microcredit programs in developing countries, including the Grameen Trust in Costa Rica, Guatemala and India; Fundación Adelante in Honduras; and Pro Mujer in Nicaragua.” (Source: Microcapital.org)
  • Related to an earlier post regarding social capital exchanges, Credit Suisse “will launch in the coming weeks an index that encompasses social responsibility criteria in addition to strong valuation and performance characteristics. The index will be composed of stocks that rank highly on both social responsibility criteria and financial ratios.” (Source: Microcapital.org)

Government regulation/programs:

  • The UP government has placed a ban on the construction of liquor stores in and around areas inhabited by the Dalit population due to the reported connection between alcoholism and illiteracy, both of which have been cited as problems in the Dalit community.
  • The Highways Department is developing a “Road Management System that would include a ‘Road Asset Information Database’ of the core road network and a computerised Pavement Management System (PMS) to enable more efficient planning.”
  • Following recommendations from the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector, the Central government is devising a health insurance scheme that will cover the entire BPL population of 30 crore.

Health Research: