MSCI Barra (NYSE:MXB), a leading provider of investment decision support tools worldwide, including indices and portfolio analytics, announced today that it will launch a new family of benchmark indices covering 19 Frontier Market countries, and a new tradable index for Asia – the MSCI Asia APEX 50 Index. The announcement follows consultations with market participants around the world.
“Our decision to launch the MSCI Frontier Markets Indices reflects the growing interest from international investors in these equity markets, as they look beyond existing developed and emerging markets in their search for new investment opportunities," said Henry Fernandez, Chairman and CEO of MSCI Barra. "The MSCI Asia APEX 50 Index is being launched in response to investor demand for a tradable index based on the MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Index. As the individual country markets across Asia have become more accessible, the demand for index linked products based on the region has increased,” he added.
The MSCI Frontier Markets Indices will cover 19 countries:
- Central and Eastern Europe & CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States): Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Romania, Slovenia and Ukraine
- Africa: Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria and Tunisia
- Middle East: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon
- Asia: Sri Lanka and Vietnam
MSCI Barra will continue to monitor potential markets that may qualify for the MSCI Frontier Markets Indices on a semi-annual basis, during the May and November Semi-Annual Index Reviews. Additional Frontier Markets that could be considered during the May 2008 Semi-Annual Index Review include, among others:
- Central and Eastern Europe & CIS: Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania and Serbia
- Africa: Senegal
- Latin America & Caribbean: Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago
In addition, MSCI Barra will provide a series of new regional and global composite indices that combine the MSCI Frontier Markets Indices with the existing MSCI Emerging Markets and MSCI All Country Indices. The resulting indices will include the MSCI Emerging and Frontier Markets (EFM) Index and the MSCI All Country World and Frontier Markets (ACWI FM) Index.
The MSCI Asia APEX 50 Index will consist of the 50 largest stocks by market capitalization in Asia excluding Japan, optimized for tradability. The index is designed to serve as the basis for investment products such as exchange traded and OTC derivative products, exchange traded funds and other passive vehicles.
Calculation of both the MSCI Frontier Markets Indices and the MSCI Asia APEX 50 Index will start as of the close of November 30, 2007. On December 18, 2007, index levels and returns will be made available via www.mscibarra.com. Constituent data for the MSCI Asia APEX 50 Index will also be made available via the website on this date. Constituent data for the MSCI Frontier Markets Indices will be made available to eligible clients on request.
The indices will be added to the existing MSCI index products and most vendor platforms in February 2008.
About MSCI Barra
MSCI Barra is a leading provider of investment decision support tools to investment institutions worldwide. MSCI Barra products include indices and portfolio analytics for use in managing equity, fixed income and multi-asset class portfolios.
The company’s flagship products are the MSCI International Equity Indices, which are estimated to have over
USD 3 trillion benchmarked to them, and the Barra risk models and portfolio analytics, which cover 56 equity and 46 fixed income markets. MSCI Barra is headquartered in New York, with research and commercial offices around the world. Morgan Stanley, a global financial services firm, is the majority shareholder of MSCI Barra.
MSCI Barra was voted “Index Provider of the Year” at the 2007 Global Pensions Magazine Awards.
For further information on MSCI Barra, please visit our web site at www.mscibarra.com.
For media enquiries please contact:
Sally Todd | Clare Milton, Penrose Financial, London + 44.20.7786.4888
Pen Pendleton | Ann Taylor Reed, Abernathy MacGregor, New York + 1.212.371.5999
MSCI Barra Global Client Service:
Aatish Suchak, MSCI Barra, London + 44.20.7618.2222
Izabella Goldenberg, MSCI Barra, New York + 1.212.762.5790
Jackson Wang, MSCI Barra, San Francisco + 1.415.576.2323
Alick Lei, MSCI Barra, Hong Kong + 852.2848.7333
Pavithra Ramasubban, MSCI Barra, Sydney + 61.2.9220.9333
Masao Ikeda, MSCI Barra, Tokyo + 813.5424.5470
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