Stock investors will soon be able to track the performance of more Hong Kong-listed companies with a proven track record of environmental and social awareness, under plans by the Hang Seng Indexes Company. The compiler is set to launch more indices made up of firms that show commitment to social governance and protecting the environment. It will also add more gauges to its Hang Seng Stock Connect Greater Bay Area Index Series as progress to develop the future economic and business hub gathers momentum, said Daniel Wong, director and head of research and analytics at the Hang Seng Indexes Company. “Sustainable investment has become more and more important in recent years. Many institutional investors focus on companies that perform strongly in terms of their efforts to combat climate changes and have good corporate governance,” Wong said. The promise of new offerings comes after the compiler successfully launched the Nasdaq-like Hang Seng Tech Index , which has quickly become its third most-popular index after the benchmark Hang Seng Index and the H-shares Index. The new tech gauge rose 4.3 per cent last week, after debuting on July 27, thrashing the Hang Seng Index, which edged down 0.4 per cent during the same period. “The new tech index is popular. We have received many inquiries from issuers of Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) , warrants, and other derivatives to ask about licensing the new index to create products,” said Wong. Fund managers expect ETFs tracking Hang Seng Tech Index to take off as investors seek a piece of the red hot industry For the rest of 2020, the compiler will focus on three major areas: promoting more ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) indices, the Greater Bay Area and what it calls smart beta indices, which consider factors such as volatility, liquidity, quality, value, size and momentum. Hang Seng Indexes started to compile ESG indices in 2010, with eight major series tracking about 350 companies that have passed a sustainability assessment carried out by the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency, an independent, professional assessment body. Companies with more effective ESG measures are given a higher weighting on the indices than others. Launching more of the gauges would encourage more companies to adopt good practices in those areas, according to Edward Au, southern regional managing partner at Deloitte China. “For the companies that join the ESG indices, it will attract more passive fund managers to invest in them. Some companies may also issue more warrants or other derivatives [tracked by] these indices, which would add turnover to these companies,” Au said. Bank deposits expand most in two years as hot money chases IPOs The compiler introduced its stock connect Greater Bay Area indices in 2018 and now has one composite index and five categories of indices. Wong said it would launch more indices in the series in light of an acceleration in the development of the bay area. Beijing in February last year issued a blueprint for the zone, and more details, such as the launch of the wealth management connect , have emerged in recent months. The bay area project is aimed at integrating Hong Kong, Macau and nine mainland cities in the southern part of Guangdong province to allow a greater flow of capital and talent to create an economic powerhouse to compete with Tokyo and New York. “Having more new indices on the Greater Bay Area is timely as the Chinese government has announced many new development plans for the area. Investors have great hopes for the region,” said Au.