Jantzi Social Index on rise again

By 
  • May 22, 2008

{mosimage}TORONTO - After a year of sub-par results the Jantzi Social Index is once again leading the band among Canadian stock indexes.

The JSI gained 5.9 per cent in April, edging out its nearest relative, the S&P/TSX 60, by nearly half a percentage point.

The same group of stocks that has dragged the Jantzi down over the last year also contributed to the April turnaround. Overweighting in favour of financial sector stocks, primarily the big banks, boosted the JSI while resource sector stocks, including gold miners such as Goldcorp and American Barrick, held back the S&P/TSX 60.

Earlier this year, for the first time in its eight-year history, the Jantzi Social Index began to show results worse than both the S&P/TSX 60 and the broader S&P/TSX Composite over the lifetime of the JSI. Those results followed a 2007 in which the less judgmental standard indexes benefited by holding oil and hard rock mining companies whose environmental practices disqualify them from the JSI.

April was a reminder of how things used to be through the first six years of the index which chooses stocks based on their performance according to environmental, social and corporate governance measures, said Jantzi spokesperson Paula Glick. Compared to the JSI’s 5.9-per-cent gain, the S&P/TSX 60 picked up 5.42 per cent and the S&P/TSX Composite managed just 4.6-per-cent gains.

The April performance was enough to put the JSI back on top when comparing the three indexes since the January 2000 inception of the socially responsible investment index. Over just more than eight years the JSI has grown in value 94.71 per cent, compared to 92.23 per cent for the S&P/TSX 60 and 92.71 per cent for the S&P/TSX Composite.

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