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MSCI launches ESG Universal Equity Indexes for long-term global investors

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MSCI has launched the MSCI ESG Universal Indexes and renamed two MSCI ESG Index families.

The MSCI ESG Universal Indexes are designed to enable pension funds, endowments and other asset owners to better focus on ESG issues in their investment decision-making processes.
 
The MSCI ESG Universal Indexes may be suitable for asset owners and other large Institutional investors who classify themselves as universal owners and seek to enhance their exposure to ESG while maintaining a broad and diversified universe of equities to invest in. To target high ESG performers, the MSCI ESG Universal Index moves away from a free float market cap weighting and tilts toward companies that demonstrate both a robust ESG profile and a positive ESG trend.
 
With a focus on weighting companies rather than excluding them, the index aims to maintain a broad and diversified universe of equities. To minimise exclusions, the MSCI ESG Universal Indexes limit them to companies found to be in violation of international norms (for example, facing severe controversies related to human rights, labour rights or the environment) and those involved in controversial weapons (for example, landmines, cluster munitions, depleted uranium, and biological and chemical weapons).
 
“The MSCI ESG Universal Indexes offer the world’s largest asset owners a scalable way to integrate ESG into their investment decision-making processes,” says Diana Tidd, MSCI’s global head of index. “Asset owners can use the MSCI ESG Universal Indexes to facilitate asset allocation or to help implement investment strategies in accordance with their ESG goals.”
 
The MSCI ESG Universal Index family comprises five indexes:
        •      MSCI ACWI ESG Universal Index
        •      MSCI World ESG Universal Index
        •      MSCI Europe ESG Universal Index
        •      MSCI EM (Emerging Markets) ESG Universal Index
        •      MSCI USA ESG Universal Index

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