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  1. BLOG

    Aligning with the Paris Agreement: An Index Approach 

    Oct 22, 2020 Stuart Doole , Véronique Menou , Kumar Neeraj

    ESG Research , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Institutional investors are under pressure to align their strategies with a maximum global temperature increase of 1.5oC as targeted by the Paris Agreement. We examine how they can approach this while respecting other investment constraints.

  2. BLOG

    Factors in Focus: Impact of Inflation on Style Factors 

    Oct 2, 2020 Hitendra D Varsani , Waman Virgaonkar

    Factor Investing , Global Investing , Risk Management

    Learn More

    Global equities continued to rally in Q3, brushing aside fear of a second wave of COVID-19 and a large economic slump. We review what it meant from an equity and fixed-income factor perspective and look at what our models showed headed into Q4

  3. BLOG

    Assessing Company Alignment with UN SDGs 

    Sep 14, 2020 Olga Emelianova

    ESG Research , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Five years ago, the United Nations adopted 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in an effort to end extreme poverty, reduce inequity and protect the planet by 2030. Using a new tool, we examine whether companies are walking the walk.

  4. BLOG

    ESG in Mexico: At a Fork in the Road? 

    Aug 27, 2020 Mario López-Alcalá

    ESG Research , Emerging Markets , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Mexican companies’ ESG risk-mitigation practices have come a long way over the past decade, but there has been some slippage over the past two years. We examine the current status and why investors may want to pay attention.

  5. BLOG

    Alternative Views of Equity-Market Liquidity During COVID-19 

    Aug 26, 2020 Saurabh Katiyar , Reil Abucay , Chirag Gosar

    Emerging Markets , Global Investing , Risk Management

    Learn More

    Institutional investors have typically used traded volume as a way to assess market liquidity. Adding alternative measures that gauge market impact and trading costs can provide a more comprehensive view for portfolio managers and traders.

  6. BLOG

    Understanding the Industry-Momentum Factor 

    Aug 19, 2020 Alex Johnson , Simon Minovitsky

    Factor Investing , Risk Management , Global Investing

    Learn More

    When COVID-19 first swept through global equity markets, many factors exhibited unprecedented performance swings. How could institutional investors interpret the industry-momentum factor’s moves in the context of the underlying market dynamics?

  7. BLOG

    Index Futures and the Expansion of Equity Markets in EM and Asia 

    Aug 4, 2020 Zhen Wei

    Global Investing , Emerging Markets

    Learn More

    Given equity market growth in the emerging markets and Asia, and the dispersion of returns across individual subregions and countries, some have looked beyond traditional long-only approaches, to others, such as futures. We explore those options.

  8. BLOG

    Managing Climate Risk in Equity Portfolios: A Case Study 

    Jul 15, 2020 Bruno Rauis , Zoltán Nagy

    ESG Research , Global Investing

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    Institutional investors are increasingly focused on mitigating their climate-related risks. How could a “typical” active global equity manager have managed these exposures without disturbing the portfolio’s risk and return characteristics?

  9. BLOG

    Would Integrating ESG in Chinese Equities Have Worked? 

    Jul 7, 2020 Naoya Nishimura , Shuo Xu

    ESG Research , Emerging Markets , Global Investing

    Learn More

    ESG ratings have reflected financial risk and returns in developed-market and emerging-market equities. But was this true in China, where ESG considerations are still in their infancy?

  10. BLOG

    Did Value-Factor Exposure Deliver for Value Funds? 

    Jun 29, 2020 Saurabh Katiyar , Ashish Lodh , Vishad Bhalodia

    Factor Investing , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Building on previous MSCI research into the nuanced performance of the value factor, including the impact of sectors and other style factors, we look at how exposure to value drove the performance of actively managed value funds.

  11. BLOG

    ESG Ratings: How the Weighting Scheme Affected Performance 

    Jun 29, 2020 Zoltán Nagy , Linda-Eling Lee , Guido Giese

    Global Investing , ESG Research

    Learn More

    Our recent research suggests that environmental and social issues were more industry specific and tended to show up in financial measures over a longer time frame compared to governance issues. How can E, S and G issues be combined?

  12. BLOG

    Which ESG Issues Mattered Most? Defining Event and Erosion Risks 

    Jun 22, 2020 Guido Giese , Zoltán Nagy , Linda-Eling Lee

    Global Investing , ESG Research

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    Very different ESG issues can be material for different industries. Our research suggests that risks can be divided into two main types: “event” risks and “erosion” risks to companies’ long-term competitiveness. Which ones mattered most for E, S and G?

  13. BLOG

    Is ESG All About the ‘G’? That Depends on Your Time Horizon. 

    Jun 15, 2020 Linda-Eling Lee , Guido Giese , Zoltán Nagy

    Global Investing , ESG Research

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    The conventional wisdom has it that governance is the most dominant of the three E, S and G pillars. But our analysis finds different results when looking at contribution to performance over different time horizons.

  14. BLOG

    Equity-Market Dislocation and Index-Based Investing 

    Jun 3, 2020 Zhen Wei , Shuo Xu

    Emerging Markets , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Market turbulence amid COVID-19 presented risks and opportunities. We explore how indexes , combined with the use of fundamental data, provided a wealth of information to help identify potential market dislocations.

  15. BLOG

    Outcome-Oriented Factor Investing with a ‘Barbell’ Approach 

    Jun 1, 2020 Zhen Wei , Shuo Xu

    Factor Indexes , Factor Investing , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Though relatively new to wealth investors, index-based factor investing has some similarity to a high-conviction, outcome-oriented approach. We explore combining the two when seeking outcomes such as equity growth, yield enhancement and risk mitigation.

  16. BLOG

    Building Better ESG Indexes: 30 Years On 

    May 27, 2020 Stuart Doole

    Global Investing , ESG Research

    Learn More

    How ESG indexes have evolved over the past 30 years: A Q&A with Stuart Doole, head of new index development at MSCI, about his conversations with investors since the COVID19 crisis started, the growth of ESG investing and how MSCI Research uses AI and machine learning in developing its ESG indexes.

  17. BLOG

    Robust Selection Paid Dividends 

    May 22, 2020 Neeraj Dabake , Ankit Shah

    Global Investing

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    Dividend cuts following the COVID-19 slowdown led to approximately USD 194 billion of lost dividends between February and April 2020. An approach that looked beyond dividend-yield ranking would have avoided some affected companies, based on our analysis.

  18. BLOG

    Five lessons for investors from the COVID-19 crisis 

    May 19, 2020 Dimitris Melas

    ESG Research , Factors , Global Investing

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    COVID-19 unleashed a torrent of sharp movements across global financial markets. We highlight five key lessons for investors regarding global investing, managing factors, active management, indexed investing and ESG investing.

  19. BLOG

    Index Rebalancing During High Volatility: A Balancing Act 

    May 13, 2020 Abhishek Gupta , Pavlo Taranenko , Sebastien Lieblich

    Global Investing , Emerging Markets

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    Significant volatility during COVID-19 highlights a need for index reconstitution, but some may worry about trading costs and excess turnover. We investigate the balance between appropriate market representation and avoiding high index turnover.

  20. BLOG

    Consumer ABS Under Coronavirus in the US and China 

    May 11, 2020 Yini Yang , Jian Chen , Joy Zhang

    Emerging Markets , Fixed Income , Global Investing , Risk Management

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    Beyond COVID-19’s steep human toll, the pandemic’s disruption of economic life has led to widespread loss of income and impaired some borrowers’ ability to repay loans. What could the impact be for investors in consumer asset-backed securities in the U.S. and China?

  21. BLOG

    Using Derivatives to Manage Volatile Markets 

    May 4, 2020 Hitendra D Varsani , Rohit Mendiratta

    Emerging Markets , Global Investing , Risk Management

    Learn More

    We’ve previously noted growth in derivatives contracts to manage emerging-markets exposure in normal and stressed times. Now, facing a real-world stress test, how did investors use these tools? How have implied volatilities and option premium changed?

  22. BLOG

    Can diversification help weather the coronavirus storm? 

    Apr 16, 2020 Raina Oberoi , Abhishek Gupta , Jean-Maurice Ladure

    Emerging Markets , Factor Indexes , Factor Investing , Factors , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Whether investors include a tactical approach or invest strategically for the long term, diversifying across factors, sectors and geographies has historically played an important role in portfolio construction. 

  23. BLOG

    Green bonds: Growing bigger and broader 

    Apr 14, 2020 Meghna Mehta

    ESG Research , Fixed Income , Global Investing

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    As the green-bond market matures, it is developing offshoots. The types of projects financed, as well as the emergence of innovative types of bonds and loans linked to the ESG targets, is growing. These initiatives may broaden the market for green investment options.

  24. BLOG

    Will coronavirus reduce emissions long term? 

    Apr 3, 2020 Oliver Marchand , Nathan Faigle

    ESG Research , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Has COVID-19 affected carbon emissions? Using satellite imagery from NASA and the European Space Agency, we examined the empirical data so far to understand the potential impact, and if there may be a decline in global greenhouse-gas emissions in 2020.

  25. BLOG

    Asset allocation and index futures during market crises 

    Mar 25, 2020 Zhen Wei , Shuo Xu , Wei Xu

    Emerging Markets , Global Investing , Risk Management

    Learn More

    During market crises, institutional investors have employed derivatives contracts to hedge market risks or express views on certain performance/risk characteristics. We explore prior use of futures for exposure management and tactical asset allocation.

  26. BLOG

    Integrating ESG in emerging markets and Asia 

    Mar 18, 2020 Zhen Wei

    ESG Research , Emerging Markets , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Previously, we have examined the relationship between ESG characteristics and financial performance in developed markets. In this blog post, we explore whether ESG characteristics  have had financially significant effects in emerging markets and Asia.

  27. BLOG

    Coronavirus and oil hit equities — how low can we go? 

    Mar 12, 2020 Dimitris Melas

    Risk Management , Global Investing

    Learn More

    We compare the market turmoil sparked by the coronavirus pandemic with levels of volatility, drawdown and recovery after 9/11 and the global financial crisis (the two other similarly severe economic and market shocks of the last 20 years).

  28. BLOG

    The coronavirus market impact spreads globally 

    Mar 5, 2020 Jun Wang , Jay Yao , George Bonne

    Factor Investing , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Fear of a coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic impacts caused sharp drops in global markets after an initially mild response. We look at recent performance from a factor perspective and how quickly factor returns and volatility reverted in past crises.

  29. BLOG

    A coronavirus stress test for global markets 

    Mar 4, 2020 Thomas Verbraken , Chenlu Zhou , Juan Sampieri

    Fixed Income , Global Investing , Risk Management

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    After the coronavirus spread to multiple continents, markets recorded the worst week since the crisis. How much further could markets drop if epidemic turns into pandemic? Our stress test indicates room for further losses.

  30. BLOG

    ESG and the cost of capital 

    Feb 25, 2020 Ashish Lodh

    ESG Research , Global Investing , Emerging Markets

    Learn More

    We know a lot about the relationship between companies’ ESG characteristics and financial performance. But was there a correlation between ESG scores and cost of capital?

  31. BLOG

    The coronavirus epidemic: Implications for markets 

    Feb 12, 2020 Zhen Wei , Jun Wang , Thomas Verbraken

    Economic Exposure , Emerging Markets , Factor Investing , Fixed Income , Global Investing , Risk Management

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    The toll from the coronavirus has been felt throughout societies, leading to repercussions on the global economy and financial markets. We examine investor impact through markets’ economic exposures to China and factors and by stress testing portfolios.

  32. BLOG

    Aramco IPO shows importance of timely index inclusion 

    Feb 4, 2020 Saurabh Katiyar

    Emerging Markets , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Saudi Aramco’s IPO showed why single-country index providers may sometimes need to include companies (especially larger ones) outside of scheduled reviews, as they work to bridge gaps between a country’s equity index exposure and economic drivers.

  33. BLOG

    Did private capital deliver? 

    Jan 30, 2020 Yang Liu , Oleg Ruban

    Global Investing

    Learn More

    Private-capital funds enjoyed record inflows from 2014 to 2018, as asset owners sought high-returning assets that had low correlations to traditional public asset classes. Did private capital deliver?

  34. BLOG

    Trade deal broadened access to China’s nonperforming loans 

    Jan 29, 2020 Jian Chen , Yini Yang

    Risk Management , Fixed Income , Global Investing , Emerging Markets

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    The phase-one U.S.-China trade deal lets U.S. asset managers acquire nonperforming loans directly from Chinese banks. We assess the market’s characteristics, as investors face challenges estimating recovery rates and liquidation timing of these loans.

  35. BLOG

    Looking to the futures of emerging markets 

    Dec 11, 2019 Hitendra D Varsani

    Global Investing , Risk Management , Economic Exposure , Emerging Markets

    Learn More

    Emerging-market (EM) equities have delivered unique risk and return characteristics over the last 30 years. Are futures on EM stocks a liquid enough means to gain exposure during normal and stressed conditions?

  36. BLOG

    Emerging markets since China A shares’ inclusion 

    Dec 5, 2019 Zhen Wei

    Global Investing

    Learn More

    The emerging-market (EM) equity segment has evolved substantially during the two and a half years since MSCI announced the inclusion of China A shares in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

  37. BLOG

    The value of standards in the investment process 

    Dec 2, 2019 Guillermo Cano

    Global Investing

    Learn More

    Standards can establish a common language and provide clarity among market participants. We examine three to see how they can help evaluate returns, quantify factor exposures and measure the impact of changes in sector and industry trends.

  38. BLOG

    A default wave for Chinese consumer ABS? 

    Nov 18, 2019 Jian Chen , Yini Yang

    Economic Exposure , Emerging Markets , Fixed Income , Global Investing , Risk Management

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    The default rate for auto loans in Chinese consumer asset-backed securities increased rapidly in recent months, and China may be moving toward a more borrower-friendly bankruptcy regime. Could this   lead to even higher default rates?

  39. BLOG

    Have regional equity-market correlations risen? 

    Nov 15, 2019 Guido Giese , Roman Kouzmenko

    Global Investing

    Learn More

    Global equity investors use regions as building blocks in asset allocation, typically segregating markets by how developed they are and by geography. Has globalization reduced the potential for geographical portfolio diversification?

  40. BLOG

    The state of global investing 

    Nov 12, 2019 Dimitris Melas

    Economic Exposure , Emerging Markets , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Financial markets are inherently unpredictable, while structural forces such as shifts in monetary policy, trade conflicts and climate change compound the challenges facing investors. Read our analysis commissioned by Norway’s Ministry of Finance.

  41. BLOG

    Emerging market country allocation matters 

    Nov 6, 2019 Jean-Maurice Ladure

    Emerging Markets , Global Investing , Economic Exposure

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    Investors with strong convictions on emerging markets might consider an approach allowing tilts toward or away from specific themes, such as active allocation to single-country index-based funds. We explore considerations linked with this approach.

  42. BLOG

    Cyclicals vs. defensives: Did tariffs tip the scales? 

    Nov 5, 2019 Guillermo Cano

    Economic Exposure , Emerging Markets , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Did tariffs imposed by the U.S. and China in May trigger a shift to defensive from cyclical stocks? How did they affect different U.S. sectors and industry groups?

  43. BLOG

    Value investing is down. But is it out? 

    Oct 23, 2019 Anil Rao , Abhishek Gupta

    Factor Indexes , Factor Investing , Factors , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Value stocks generally underperformed the broad U.S. equity market over the past decade — just as they did in the late 1990s. What drove that underperformance? Was it consistent globally? Within U.S. sectors?

  44. BLOG

    Stress testing US-China trade wars 

    Oct 22, 2019 Thomas Verbraken , Anikó Maráz

    Emerging Markets , Fixed Income , Global Investing , Risk Management

    Learn More

    Amid ongoing U.S.-China trade tension, we have updated our stress test to consider three scenarios for how the situation could unfold — and their impact on currency, bond and equity markets around the world.

  45. BLOG

    Chinese convertibles: Equities in fancy dress? 

    Oct 14, 2019 Gergely Szalka

    Emerging Markets , Fixed Income , Global Investing , Models/Client Cases , Risk Management

    Learn More

    Chinese corporate bonds that convert to A shares display equity-like characteristics. But investors who view these securities as equities in disguise are overlooking the complexities of the asset class.

  46. BLOG

    Stress testing Brexit: Deal or no deal? 

    Oct 9, 2019 Anikó Maráz , Thomas Verbraken

    Global Investing , Models/Client Cases , Risk Management

    Learn More

    Brexit has roiled markets since U.K. voters chose “leave” in the June 2016 referendum. We used our stress-testing model to examine how markets could react to deal and no-deal scenarios.

  47. BLOG

    What’s the downside in real estate? 

    Oct 4, 2019 Bryan Reid

    Real Estate Investing , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Real estate has always been marked by periods of expansion and sometimes painful corrections. But all cycles are not alike.

  48. BLOG

    Is climate-change risk all about fossil fuels? Think again. 

    Sep 19, 2019 Michael Disabato

    ESG Research , Global Investing

    Learn More

    When it comes to reducing greenhouse gases, investors tend to focus on fossil fuels and power generation. But other companies also need to adapt to a lower-carbon world. We look at the implications for five types of companies.

  49. BLOG

    Real estate may be yielding less than you thought 

    Sep 12, 2019 Bryan Reid

    Global Investing , Real Estate Investing

    Learn More

    Income has long been an important part of real estate returns meaning yields are often heavily scrutinized by investors. However, headline yields do not factor in capital expenditure requirements which can vary significantly. Investors looking to better understand potential “free cash flow” positions of portfolios post-capex may want to adjust the yields they use to account for it.

  50. BLOG

    Using multi-country multi-currency futures in portfolio management 

    Sep 3, 2019 Hitendra D Varsani

    Global Investing , Risk Management

    Learn More

    Investors seeking to more tightly manage their exposures to regional or global benchmarks are turning to multi-country multi-currency futures.

  51. BLOG

    The changing face of real estate portfolios 

    Aug 14, 2019 Bryan Reid

    Global Investing , Real Estate Investing

    Learn More

    Office and retail investments’ historic dominance of commercial real estate portfolios is decreasing, with other property types — including logistics centers, student housing, and data centers — increasing. This evolution highlights how technology and the search for yield have led investors to diversify and seek exposure to other property types.

  52. BLOG

    Home bias in fixed income: Has it helped or hurt? 

    Jul 29, 2019 Anikó Maráz , Andy Sparks

    Fixed Income , Global Investing , Integrated Risk Management

    Learn More

    Has global diversification historically helped reduce risk in the fixed-income portfolios of U.S. defined-benefit (DB) pension plans? Our backtests show that globalizing bond allocations would have increased risk measured relative to a liability benchmark. For such plans, home bias in bond portfolios would have reduced active risk over the period of our study.

  53. BLOG

    Is there another Woodford waiting to happen? 

    Jul 11, 2019 Laszlo Hollo

    Global Investing , Risk Management

    Learn More

    When the Woodford Equity Income Fund suspended redemptions on June 3, 2019, it showed how, when a fund’s liquidity profile is misaligned with its shareholder profile and redemption constraints, a single large redemption request can trigger gating. 

  54. BLOG

    Under the hood: Rating ESG funds 

    Jul 10, 2019 Michael Disabato

    ESG Research , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Nearly $31 trillion in assets under management were invested in funds that consider ESG issues in their investing process as of January 2018, a 34% increase from two years previously. Transparency is key to understanding what this expansion means.

  55. BLOG

    Asian retail resilience: Have store hours affected performance? 

    Jul 9, 2019 Bryan Reid

    Real Estate Investing , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Industrial real estate has outperformed retail assets in recent years, but the trend has been less pronounced in Asia, where store hours, among other reasons, might have led to more resilient retail performance.

  56. BLOG

    The rise of fundamental factors in China A shares 

    Jun 6, 2019 Oleg Ruban

    Emerging Markets , Factor Investing , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Commonly held perceptions about China A shares have influenced investors to think factor strategies may not work in the Chinese equity markets. Our research suggests this may be changing.

  57. BLOG

    What could stress emerging markets? 

    May 24, 2019 Thomas Verbraken

    Global Investing , Risk Management , Economic Exposure , Emerging Markets

    Learn More

    Emerging-market equities and USD-denominated EM sovereign bonds started 2019 with a bang, but recent market turbulence caused by the U.S.-China trade standoff raises a pressing question: What could trigger the next EM downturn?

  58. BLOG

    Beyond headlines: How markets responded to US-China trade talks 

    May 9, 2019 Zhen Wei

    Economic Exposure , Emerging Markets , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Our analysis suggests that changes in equity-market valuations, analysts’ consensus earnings estimates and data on companies’ revenue exposure are metrics that provided insight into recent market and sector performances.

  59. BLOG

    Game of Homes: Is winter coming for the domestic-equity bias? 

    Apr 30, 2019 Anil Rao , Raman Aylur Subramanian

    Equity Themes , Models/Client Cases , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Can we quantify home-bias risk in an allocation? And, what has happened when U.S. stocks ended previous multiyear runs of outperformance?

  60. BLOG

    The Right Tool: How Suitable is Your Real Estate Benchmark? 

    Apr 11, 2019 Amit Nihalani

    Real Estate Investing , Global Investing

    Learn More

    You don’t have to be a master craftsman to appreciate the benefits of using the right tool for the job. Even the most casual do-it-yourselfer has experienced the frustration of using the wrong screwdriver for a particular job — one that doesn’t quite fit the screw properly and shreds the head, leaving it uselessly stuck in the wood without fixing anything.

  61. BLOG

    Evaluating the impact of LIBOR fallback 

    Apr 3, 2019 Maks Oks

    Fixed Income , Global Investing , Integrated Risk Management

    Learn More

    The planned discontinuation of LIBOR and other interbank offer rates sometime in 2022 will affect a large number of existing financial contracts based on these benchmarks.

  62. BLOG

    Factors in Focus: Risky start. Quality finish. 

    Apr 2, 2019 Hitendra D Varsani , Waman Virgaonkar

    Factors , Global Investing , Factor Investing

    Learn More

    We highlight the fast-moving rotation among factors that continued during Q1 2019. As we move into Q2 2019, this framework showed allocation changes in different factors.

  63. BLOG

    Saudi Arabia inclusion and emerging markets 

    Mar 28, 2019 Saurabh Katiyar

    Equity Themes , Emerging Markets , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Saudi Arabian stocks will be included in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index and the MSCI ACWI Index in a two-step process starting in June this year. With the first step of inclusion of the MSCI Saudi Arabian Index coming shortly, we ask how inclusion of this Middle Eastern market would have affected the MSCI EM Indexes.

  64. BLOG

    A new day for monetary policy? 

    Mar 22, 2019 Andy Sparks

    Emerging Markets , Fixed Income , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Listen as MSCI’s Andy Sparks discusses potential implications of the US Federal Reserve’s sharply softening monetary policy, and whether the role of central banks has changed.

  65. BLOG

    Don’t confuse capital growth and asset-value growth 

    Mar 21, 2019 Niel Harmse

    Economic Exposure , Real Estate Investing , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Measuring real estate growth is not a simple exercise; we run through it highlighting some common confusions

  66. BLOG

    Watching beta in volatile equity markets 

    Mar 12, 2019 Anil Rao

    Equity Themes , Global Investing

    Learn More

    The U.S. equity market ended last year with a historic drawdown, and beta stood out as a driver of the market decline. But what happened when those losses starting reversing in early 2019?

  67. BLOG

    What innovative companies and women on boards have in common 

    Mar 8, 2019 Meggin Thwing Eastman

    ESG Research , Global Investing

    Learn More

    We examined constituents of the MSCI ACWI Index that had been recognized as innovators on one or more annual lists produced by Forbes, Fast Company, MIT Sloan and the Boston Consulting Group between 2015 and 2018.

  68. BLOG

    Brexit, Black Wednesday and Real Estate's Currency Risk 

    Feb 25, 2019 Niel Harmse

    Real Estate Investing , Global Investing

    Learn More

    When investors buy overseas real estate, they inevitably take on foreign-exchange exposure. The resulting currency-market dislocations resulted in near-term losses for some investors, but also created attractive opportunities for investors to buy real estate exposure in the U.K.

  69. BLOG

    Evaluating Emerging-Market Stocks through a Governance Lens 

    Feb 21, 2019 Raina Oberoi , Anil Rao

    Equity Themes , Emerging Markets , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Emerging-market stocks generally are perceived to have lower governance standards than their developed-market counterparts. Less transparency is one factor behind this view. Some emerging-market companies may also disadvantage minority shareholders. How can active and index-based investors address these issues?

  70. BLOG

    Venezuela and the Specter of Recovery Risk 

    Feb 14, 2019 Hamed Faquiryan , Manuel Rueda

    Fixed Income , Global Investing , Factor Investing

    Learn More

    Venezuela unfortunately finds itself on the verge of political and economic collapse. From the perspective of investors in the country’s sovereign and corporate bonds, recovery risk is now likely a bigger consideration than default risk.

  71. BLOG

    2019 emerging real estate trends 

    Feb 5, 2019 Will Robson

    ESG Research , Real Estate Investing , Global Investing

    Learn More

    For real estate investors, 2019 may be a year of adjusting to rapid changes arising from a variety of sources, including environmental, social and governance-related (ESG) risks; geopolitical uncertainty; and disruptive technology.

  72. BLOG

    What would a “No deal” Brexit mean for markets? 

    Jan 17, 2019 Thomas Verbraken

    Global Investing , Integrated Risk Management

    Learn More

    Financial markets are increasingly edgy about prospects for the U.K. Parliament’s expected Dec. 11 vote on a Brexit deal with the European Union.

  73. BLOG

    Brexit and the risks of home bias 

    Jan 11, 2019 Jean-Maurice Ladure

    Economic Exposure , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Every so often, a country can be hit by a negative event — a tidal wave, a terrorist attack, a political uproar.

  74. BLOG

    Factors in Focus: Navigating turbulent markets 

    Jan 8, 2019 Hitendra D Varsani , Vipul Jain

    Factors , Global Investing , Factor Investing

    Learn More

    In this inaugural Factors in Focus, we highlight the fast-moving rotation among factors that may have impacted investor portfolios during 2018, and we look to indications from our adaptive multi-factor framework. As 2019 began, this framework showed an overweight allocation to minimum volatility and quality, an underweight allocation to value, low size and momentum, and a neutral position on high dividend yield relative to a six-factor equally-weighted mix.

  75. BLOG

    What it may mean for Japanese stocks if easy money ends 

    Nov 22, 2018 Naoya Nishimura

    Models/Client Cases , Global Investing , Factor Investing

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    Some observers are concerned that when the Bank of Japan (BOJ) eventually ends its ultra-easy monetary policy, it could hurt the Japanese stock market. Part of this concern stems from the fact that the BOJ’s unconventional monetary policy involves purchasing Japanese exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

  76. BLOG

    Small cap allocations may not be that straightforward 

    Nov 20, 2018 Abhishek Gupta

    Global Investing , Factor Investing

    Learn More

    The low size factor, or the premium that has been historically realized by investing in smaller sized companies over longer time periods, forms an integral component of many institutional portfolios. However, investors can choose different ways to making a low size allocation.

  77. BLOG

    Sector investing in China 

    Nov 14, 2018 Anil Rao

    Emerging Markets , Global Investing , Factor Investing

    Learn More

    As the China A shares market has evolved, investors have faced new choices. They can continue with broad allocations to the emerging markets (EM), choose slightly narrower allocations to China and other specific EM countries or consider targeted investments within China through a variety of means.

  78. BLOG

    Which factors mattered in China? 

    Nov 7, 2018 Oleg Ruban

    Models/Client Cases , Global Investing , Factor Investing

    Learn More

    Chinese equity prices have hardly been music to investors’ ears so far in 2018. The MSCI China A Onshore IMI Index — the broadest MSCI A shares index designed to represent the performance of the overall A shares market — has declined more than 25% in local currency terms through Oct. 31, 2018. Were there factors in this market that outperformed?

  79. BLOG

    Apples vs. Oranges? Core vs. Opportunistic Real Estate Funds 

    Oct 25, 2018 Amit Nihalani

    Real Estate Investing , Risk Management , Global Investing

    Learn More

    Real estate investors sometimes treat core and opportunistic funds as if they were different asset classes. They are measured against different benchmarks and comparisons are limited by a lack of consistent data. But a comparison of the two shows that both core and opportunistic funds have similar return profiles — it’s the magnitude of their returns that has varied over time.

  80. BLOG

    How the low volatility factor has performed in China A shares 

    Oct 11, 2018 Zhen Wei

    Global Investing , Factor Investing

    Learn More

    Which factors have performed best in the China A market, especially given its relatively high annualized market volatility? Is there too much risk to bear? We investigate the role that the minimum volatility factor has played.

  81. BLOG

    China A shares: The journey continues 

    Oct 10, 2018 Chin Ping Chia

    Emerging Markets , Global Investing

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    As China continues to open its capital markets to global investors and accessibility standards have improved, MSCI recently launched a consultation to explore increasing the weight of A shares in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. Ultimately, we seek to reflect the full investable opportunity set — all of China accessible to global investors — in the benchmark, as we do in all MSCI Global Investable Market Indexes.

  82. BLOG

    Corporate disclosure in a TCFD world 

    Sep 24, 2018 Laura Nishikawa

    ESG Research , Global Investing

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    In June of 2017, the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) released climate-related disclosure recommendations to companies and investors that included a framework for better company disclosure and a request for climate scenarios as part of that disclosure. But for investors looking to incorporate environmental risk into their process, there might be a pretty big catch: We mapped over 140 MSCI ESG Research climate-related data points to the TCFD framework and found a significant gap between what investors need to know under these recommendations and what companies are telling them.

  83. BLOG

    Global real estate: To hedge, or not to hedge 

    Sep 12, 2018 Will Robson , Bryan Reid

    Real Estate Investing , Risk Management , Global Investing

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    While not quite as profound as the Shakespearean original, it is still quite a tricky one for real estate investors to grapple with. Until fairly recently, it is one that has been avoided by the majority of real estate investors due to their heavy home bias. But the increasing global nature of the asset class, combined with rising currency volatility, means the question is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid.

  84. BLOG

    Does Turkey offer lessons for managing emerging-market currency volatility? 

    Aug 15, 2018 Raman Aylur Subramanian

    Emerging Markets , Global Investing

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    The recent 40% drop in the Turkish lira is part of a long-term trend of rising emerging-market currency volatility. Typically, investors do not hedge this exposure. Is it time to reconsider this approach?

  85. BLOG

    Is Japan’s “lost decade” over? 

    Aug 14, 2018 Naoya Nishimura

    Equity Themes , Global Investing

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    The Japanese equity market’s spectacular crash in the early 1990s is referred to as the “lost decade.” Recently, this period has been extended to include the decade that followed. Despite this, most Japanese investors continue to favor an outsized domestic equity allocation. This home bias has come with a huge opportunity cost. Since the end of 1987, the cumulative return of global stocks was over 1,400% in yen terms, while the cumulative return of Japanese stocks was only 49%.

  86. BLOG

    What happens if Italy leaves the EU? 

    Aug 6, 2018 Thomas Verbraken

    Models/Client Cases , Global Investing , Integrated Risk Management

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    With populist policies on the rise, globally, many believe Italy’s coalition government could add to the EU’s challenges by pursuing populist strategies that could further disrupt both equity and bond markets. We consider two scenarios – a severe and mild one – with very different implications.

  87. BLOG

    Can investors win a U.S.-China trade war? 

    Jul 3, 2018 Anil Rao

    Equity Themes , Economic Exposure , Global Investing , Integrated Risk Management

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    With new tariffs in effect as of July 6, we investigate our earlier assertion that “while an expanded trade war could lead to a ‘lose-lose’ outcome, there could be greater impact for stocks in the U.S. Overall, they are more exposed to the Chinese economy than the other way around.”

  88. BLOG

    Can your investment strategy work with China A shares? 

    Jun 27, 2018 Zhen Wei

    Global Investing , Factor Investing

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    Many institutional investors have long viewed China A shares as an inefficient market, suggesting that active strategies such as stock-picking can thrive. However, researching a universe of over 3,500 stocks comes with huge challenges, and may lead investors to question whether factor-based systematic strategies could have worked well with China A shares.

  89. BLOG

    International small caps are alive and kicking 

    Jun 11, 2018 Anil Rao

    Global Investing

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    Investors eager to write the obituary of the size premium might want to put down their pens. Small-cap stocks in developed markets outside the U.S. have been on a decade-long run of outpacing their large- and mid-cap counterparts.

  90. BLOG

    Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” and the value of benchmarks 

    May 30, 2018 Sebastien Lieblich

    Global Investing

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    Today, there are indexes designed to represent the performance of a wide range of investment segments, including market capitalization, geography, industry and, most recently, factors. They also are used as the basis for financial products, such as exchange-traded funds or derivatives. Much like Adam Smith’s “invisible hand,” they play a critical, behind-the-scenes role, reflecting the entire market’s views on valuations, rather than those of any individual or group of individuals.

  91. BLOG

    Canaries in the data mine: GDPR and privacy regulation 

    May 24, 2018 Matt Moscardi

    ESG Research , Global Investing

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    On Tuesday May 22, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized to EU-based Facebook users for the firm’s failure to sufficiently combat “fake news.” As the EU’s data protection regulation, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), kicks in on May 25, Facebook isn’t alone in facing compliance challenges.

  92. BLOG

    The World Comes to China 

    May 23, 2018 Chin Ping Chia

    Global Investing

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    Emerging markets may never be the same. On May 31, MSCI will include about 233 China large-cap A shares to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. Inclusion at a 5% initial weight could lead to approximately USD 22 billion of capital inflows into these stocks. What might investors need to consider as we approach this milestone?

  93. BLOG

    Why index funds promote market efficiency 

    Apr 26, 2018 Dimitris Melas

    Global Investing

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    Institutions and individuals increasingly invest through funds that track indexes. While index funds bring transparency and low cost, their critics claim that they allocate capital indiscriminately, hurting market efficiency. Is this claim supported by the evidence? It is not. Our analysis shows that, far from damaging market efficiency, index funds1 facilitate active portfolio management by offering investors diverse and efficient tools to express investment views and implement active investment decisions.

  94. BLOG

    Winners and losers of a U.S.-China trade war 

    Apr 17, 2018 Zhen Wei

    Economic Exposure , Factor Indexes , Global Investing

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    The question of who wins or loses a U.S.-China trade war has more than two possible answers. While much of the analysis has focused on China’s heavier reliance on exports to the U.S., American companies (and those who invest in them) actually have greater revenue exposure to China than the other way around. In fact, 5.1% of the revenues of companies in the MSCI USA Index come from China and may be at risk as a result of a trade war. In comparison, only 2.8% of the revenues of the companies in the MSCI China Index come from the U.S.

  95. BLOG

    Putting the spotlight on Spotify: Why have stocks with unequal voting rights outperformed? 

    Apr 3, 2018 Dimitris Melas

    Global Investing

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    Nearly 15 years after Google’s initial public offering, the debate about listed companies that offer unequal voting rights to outside investors rages on. A number of high-profile technology companies including Dropbox Inc., Spotify and Snap Inc. have recently listed shares with unequal voting rights, adding fuel to the debate. Meanwhile, investors are trying to determine if they should shun the stock issued by these companies or include them in equity portfolios.

  96. BLOG

    Does the market contain too much Facebook? 

    Mar 29, 2018 Roman Kouzmenko

    Global Investing

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    Facebook’s privacy issues, Apple’s European tax woes and Amazon’s global ambitions are constantly in the news. And over the last few years, large U.S. technology companies, sometimes known as FAANG, have made up larger slices of the global equity market. Should their level of market concentration concern investors?

  97. BLOG

    Why Are Small Caps Different? 

    Sep 18, 2017 Raina Oberoi

    Global Investing , Factor Investing

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    A lot has been written about the persistence of the global small-cap premium. But what, apart from size, distinguishes small-cap stocks from their large- and mid-cap counterparts, and how can these distinctions help institutional investors?

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