Market classification

Market Classification

MSCI announces the results of the 2019 annual market classification review

On June 25, 2019, MSCI announced the inclusion of the MSCI Kuwait Index in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index beginning June 2020 in the event that the omnibus account structures and same NIN cross trades are made available for international institutional investors before the end of November 2019. In addition, MSCI also announced the launch of a consultation to include the MSCI Iceland Index for a potential reclassification from Standalone Markets to Frontier Markets status.

Results of the MSCI 2019 global market accessibility review

Following the announcement of the 2019 annual market classification review, the detailed report of the MSCI 2019 Global Market Accessibility Review originally released last June 6, 2019, now includes the assessment on Kuwait, thereby covering 85 markets

The results of the MSCI Global Market Accessibility Review are announced prior to the communication of the MSCI Annual Market Classification Review in June of each year.

The table below reflects the currently effective classification of markets. Please refer to the latest Annual Market Classification Review and press release for details.

1 The MSCI Standalone Market Indexes are not included in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index or MSCI Frontier Markets Index. However, these indexes use either the Emerging Markets or the Frontier Markets methodological criteria concerning size and liquidity.

2 The West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) consists of the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Currently the MSCI WAEMU Indexes include securities classified in Senegal, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso.

 

Why a country's market classification may matter to investors

Every June, MSCI announces the results of its evaluation of the equity markets for countries around the world, to determine each country’s classification as a developed, emerging, frontier or standalone market. An important component of MSCI’s decisions is investors’ experience of market accessibility, rather than merely an abstract analysis of regulatory language. MSCI is careful not to force a decision that may take market participants by surprise.

The Annual Market Classification Review is designed to ensure that MSCI indexes remain relevant and precise investment decision support tools for clients, and continue to accurately represent the equity markets they are measuring.

For example: market accessibility can be overlooked, such that a country with an advanced economy and several world class companies may not necessarily equate to a sufficiently advanced market, when objectively compared to other markets (a frequent misconception).

 

The MSCI market classification framework

The Annual Market Classification Review is based on the MSCI Market Classification Framework, which aims to reflect the views and practices of the international investment community by striking a balance between a country’s economic development and the accessibility of its market while preserving index stability. The framework consists of the following criteria:

  • Economic development: Considers the sustainability of economic development and is only used in determining the classification of developed markets, given the wide range of development levels within emerging and frontier markets
  • Size and liquidity requirements: Determines those securities that meet the minimum investability requirements of the MSCI Global Standard Indexes
  • Market accessibility criteria: Aims to reflect international institutional investors’ experiences of investing in a given market and includes five criteria: openness to foreign ownership, ease of capital inflows / outflows, efficiency of operational framework, availability of investment instruments and stability of the institutional framework

June 2019 MSCI Global Market Accessibility Review

June 2019 MSCI Market Accessibility Country Comparison Report

As part of the annual market classification announcement, MSCI communicates the list of countries currently under review and the new list of countries, if any, under review for potential market reclassification in the upcoming cycle.


Past market reclassifications:

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Country Indexes Market Reclassification Date*
MSCI Saudi Arabia From Standalone to Emerging Markets May 2019
MSCI Argentina Index From Frontier Markets to Emerging Markets May 2019
MSCI China Index China-A Shares included in the Emerging Markets May 2018
MSCI Pakistan Index From Frontier Markets to Emerging Markets May 2017
MSCI WAEMU Index From Standalone to Frontier Markets November 2016
MSCI Bulgaria Index                      From Frontier Markets to Standalone                                  

August 2016

MSCI Ukraine Index From Frontier Markets to Standalone August 2015
MSCI Qatar Index From Frontier to Emerging Markets May 2014
MSCI UAE Index From Frontier to Emerging Markets May 2014
MSCI Greece Index From Developed to Emerging Markets November 2013
MSCI Morocco Index From Emerging to Frontier Markets November 2013
MSCI Trinidad & Tobago Index** From Frontier Markets to Standalone May 2011
MSCI Israel Index From Emerging to Developed Markets May 2010
MSCI Bangladesh Index From Standalone to Frontier Markets May 2010
MSCI Argentina Index From Emerging to Frontier Markets May 2009
MSCI Pakistan Index*** From Standalone to Frontier Markets May 2009
MSCI Jordan Index From Emerging to Frontier Markets November 2008
MSCI Lithuania Index From Standalone to Frontier Markets November 2008
MSCI Serbia Index From Standalone to Frontier Markets November 2008
MSCI Sri Lanka**** From Standalone to Frontier Markets November 2007
MSCI Venezuela Index***** From Emerging to Standalone May 2006
MSCI Greece Index From Emerging to Developed Markets May 2001
MSCI Portugal Index From Emerging to Developed Markets November 1997

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*As of the close of the last business day of the month except for MSCI Saudi Arabia and MSCI Argentina Index.

**Trinidad and Tobago was added to the MSCI Frontier Markets Index in May 2009

***Pakistan was removed from the MSCI Emerging Market Index in December 2008 and maintained as a standalone country index

****Sri Lanka was removed from the MSCI Emerging Market Index in June 2001 and maintained as a standalone country index

*****Index was discontinued on January 2, 2008


MSCI market classification framework

MSCI market classification framework

The classification of markets is a key input in the process of index construction as it drives the composition of the investment opportunity sets to be represented.

MSCI Country Classification Standard

MSCI Country Classification Standard

Easy access to the MSCI country classifications for the MSCI universe of equity securities.

MSCI global market accessibility review

MSCI global market accessibility review

Country Comparison covering Developed Markets, Emerging Markets, Frontier Markets and Standalone Markets for June 2019.