Status Of MSCI Greece, Egypt And Morocco Indices To Change
Geneva, July 31, 2000. MSCI announced today that the MSCI Greece Index will be reclassified as a developed market index. Therefore, it will fully join the MSCI Developed Markets Index series and will simultaneously be removed from the MSCI Emerging Markets Index series, effective as of the close of May 31, 2001. The MSCI Greece Index will continue to be included in the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI) Free series. Also effective May 31, 2001, the MSCI Egypt and MSCI Morocco Indices will be fully included in the MSCI Emerging Markets Free (EMF) Index and the MSCI ACWI Free series. These decisions are based on an extensive review of various economic and equity market factors in these countries.
MSCI also announced today that the constituents of the MSCI Greece, Egypt and Morocco Indices will be reviewed as part of the next regularly scheduled index rebalancing in August 2000.
The change in the classification of the MSCI Greece Index from an emerging to a developed market index is based on the country's relatively high level of economic and equity market development, as measured by various factors. Greece exceeds the GNP per capita threshold used by the World Bank to characterize high-income countries. Moreover, Greece has enacted sound economic, fiscal and monetary polices to qualify for admission to the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). This has created a solid basis for increased economic and financial stability, including reduced currency risk and a lower cost of capital.
The Greek equity market has also undergone important changes over the past years with significant growth in size and liquidity. Simultaneously, there has been a marked improvement in the operational efficiency of Greece's equity markets. For example, the change in the clearing and settlement process (dematerialization) of Greek shares, completed in November 1999, has proven successful in handling increased trading volumes, while simultaneously reducing the number of failed trades.
The MSCI Greece Index will join the MSCI Developed Markets Index series, including the MSCI World, MSCI EAFEâ , MSCI Europe and MSCI EMU Indices, and will be removed from the MSCI Emerging Markets Index series, including the MSCI EMF and MSCI Emerging Markets Europe Indices. The MSCI Greece Index will continue to be included in the MSCI ACWI Free series. Constituents from the MSCI Greece Index that meet the inclusion criteria of the MSCI Pan-Euro Index and the MSCI Euro Index will be added to these indices on May 31, 2001.
The inclusion of the MSCI Egypt and MSCI Morocco Indices in the MSCI EMF Index and the MSCI ACWI Free series is based upon the development level of the equity markets in these countries. The diversity of investment opportunities and the liquidity of these equity markets, though modest, are comparable to other emerging markets included in the MSCI EMF Index. In addition, there are no significant access barriers to foreign institutional investors in these markets. While scarcity of foreign currency in Egypt has been an issue in the past, this is not an uncommon issue in emerging markets.
The status of countries included or not included in the indices is periodically reviewed by MSCI. As a general policy, MSCI publicly announces significant changes relating to the MSCI indices in advance of making such changes.
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