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Our analysis indicates that the Australian Securities
Exchange is home to the world’s “quickest”
sustainability reporters. All the large companies
trading on the Australian Securities Exchange with
a Q4 2012 year-end had disclosed sustainability
data by July 1, 2013. This is followed by the Tokyo
Stock Exchange (96%), the New York Stock Exchange
(79%), the Nasdaq (74%) and the Johannesburg
Stock Exchange (69%).
The Australian Securities Exchange placed 2
nd
on this measure out of 35 exchanges surveyed in
last year’s study, which speaks to a permanently
quickened reporting cycle in the Australian market
relative to other countries.
40
It is worth highlighting the case of the Shanghai
Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
Our analysis reveals a notable progression in
terms of the speed with which companies listed
on these two exchanges are coming to market
with sustainability data after their fiscal year-end.
Fully 68% of the large companies trading on the
Shanghai Stock Exchange with a Q4 2012 year-end
had disclosed sustainability data as at July 1, 2013,
up from 24% last year. The corresponding figures
for the Shenzhen Stock Exchange are 62% this year
and 24% last year.
Corporate sustainability reporting has been the
subject of mounting attention by the Chinese
government in recent years, mostly in the wake
of public outcry from excessive levels of air and
water pollution. Another possible cause for the
rapid improvement in reporting timeliness is
the rising presence of Chinese companies on
the international business landscape, which has
increased the degree to which these firms are
being scrutinized by stakeholder groups.
40 Some of this out-performance may reflect the predominance of a June
fiscal year-end in the Australian market.
However, remarkable improvements in disclosure
timeliness have not been met with comparable
improvement in disclosure breadth: on average,
large companies trading on the Shanghai and
Shenzhen stock exchanges disclosed just one out
of the seven first generation sustainability indicators
in 2011.
Companies trading on the Lima Stock Exchange
and Tel Aviv Stock Exchange are among the slowest
to report sustainability data to the market. For
example, only 8% of the large companies trading on
the Tel Aviv stock exchange with a Q4 2012 year-end
had disclosed sustainability data as at July 1
st
, 2013.
In the case of the Lima stock exchange, none of the
large companies had disclosed any sustainability
data by July 1, 2013.
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