Financial markets data and infrastructure provider and LSEG company Refinitiv and South African index tracking solutions provider Satrix announced today the launch of Refinitiv Satrix South Africa Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) index, aiming to provide investors with exposure to companies leading on diversity and inclusion in their operations.

The index tracks the return of selected companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange with high I&D scores, based on a series of metrics utilized by Refinitiv for its Diversity and Inclusion Index, as well as its South Africa-specific Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) scores.

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Nadim Najjar, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa (MEA), Data and Analytics, London Stock Exchange Group, said:

“As the private sector looks for active and meaningful participation in the mainstream economy, we are seeing more financial inclusion programs integrated with corporate business strategies across the continent. The index benchmarks the key Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) scores that are crucial for the long-term socio-economic growth.”

Refinitiv designed its Diversity and Inclusion Index based on the hypothesis that companies that track, report and act on D&I measures will outperform. According to the company, the new index’s annualized five-year return would be 6.56%, relative to 4.65% for the Refinitiv South Africa Total Return Index.

Siyabulela Nomoyi, Portfolio Manager of the Satrix Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) index, said:

“We are proud to launch the new index in collaboration with Refinitiv. The Satrix Inclusion and Diversity ETF is based on sound investment principles, and the fund is also aligned with Satrix’s deep commitment to diversity and inclusion. A PwC 2020 report on executive directors indicated that women make up only 6% of CEOs of Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed companies. This is a clear example of why South Africa needs an inclusion and diversity ETF that will allow investors to invest in the change they want to see on the JSE.”