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Performance of Socially Responsible Portfolios Across Sectors in Indian Stock Market

International Journal of Business Ethics in Developing Economies

Volume 5 Issue 1

Published: 2016
Author(s) Name: Vanita Tripathi, Varun Bhandari | Author(s) Affiliation: Department of Commerce, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, Delhi, India
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The question of whether socially responsible stocks outperform or under-perform general stocks has been of keen interest for various researchers and academicians. This paper seeks to empirically examine the performance of socially responsible portfolios across various sectors and index of socially responsible and general companies in Indian stock market. We have taken up S&P ESG and CNX NIFTY as the indices of socially responsible and general companies respectively. ESG index has been classified into six different sectors on the basis of GICS. Performance has been evaluated in terms of risk, return and various risk-adjusted measures like Sharpe ratio, Treynor ratio, Double Sharpe ratio, Modified Sharpe ratio, M2 measure, Jensens alpha, Famas decomposition measure, etc. We have also checked whether market model is sufficient to explain cross sectional variation in stock returns or we need Fama-French three factor model. The study period ranges from January 1996 – December 2013 and it is further divided into different sub-periods. We find that socially responsible stocks across IT, FMCG and financial sectors are well rewarding in Indian stock market by generating significantly higher returns and outperforming the two indices on the basis of risk-adjusted measures employed during 18 year period and different sub-periods. The results uphold even with the use of market model and Fama-French three factor model by generating highest significant excess returns. There is no empirical evidence on the performance evaluation of socially responsible portfolios across different sectors. Hence this study is first of its kind. This will help investors in selecting best sector for investment in socially responsible companies. Significant higher returns of ESG index and socially responsible stocks across different sectors make Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) a better investment vehicle for investors in India. This is the time when general companies should change their approach and agenda towards CSR and start considering ESG issues as their investment themes. The regulators, policy makers and mutual funds should come up with different socially responsible products and sectoral indices to initiate the movement of SRI across different sectors in India.

Keywords: Socially Responsible Investing, ESG Index, NIFTY Index, Risk-Adjusted Measures, Market Model, Fama-French Three Factor Model

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