Announcement for June 23, 2020 at 08:35 PM GMT
THIS IS AN ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE MSCI GLOBAL STANDARD INDEXES
RESULTS OF THE MSCI 2020 MARKET CLASSIFICATION REVIEW
MSCI announced today the results of the MSCI 2020 Market Classification Review
and warned that the MSCI Argentina Index may be removed from the MSCI Emerging
Markets Index if there is further deterioration in market accessibility.
"While volatility increased dramatically due to the COVID19 pandemic, global
equity markets remained accessible and continued to function well, allowing
issuers to raise capital and investors to manage risk during the crisis," said
Dimitris Melas, Global Head of Equity Research and Chairman of the MSCI Index
Policy Committee. However, Dr. Melas added, "In the last 12 months, two
important Emerging Markets, Argentina and Turkey, suffered substantial
deterioration in market accessibility that could lead to their exclusion from
the MSCI Emerging Markets Index."
Potential exclusion of the MSCI Argentina Index from the MSCI Emerging Markets
MSCI announced today that it will continue consulting with market participants
on the classification of the MSCI Argentina Indexes, as international
institutional investors continue to be subject to stringent capital controls
which were put in place in September 2019, making it impossible for
international investors to access the domestic equity market.
"The MSCI Argentina Indexes remain replicable, as only foreign listings are
currently eligible for index inclusion, but the imposition of the current
capital controls is not in line with the market accessibility criteria of the
MSCI Emerging Markets Indexes," said Sebastien Lieblich, Global Head of Index
Solutions and Chairman of the MSCI Equity Index Committee. Mr. Lieblich added,
"The Argentinian authorities must realize that the prolonged application of
capital controls or the introduction of further capital controls may force the
reclassification of the MSCI Argentina Indexes from Emerging Markets status to
either Frontier Markets or Standalone Markets status."
MSCI will consult on the potential reclassification of the MSCI Argentina Index
as part of the MSCI 2021 Market Classification Review. However, any event that
results in further deterioration of market accessibility will prompt MSCI to
remove the MSCI Argentina Indexes from Emerging Markets as soon as practicable.
Marked deterioration in investability of the MSCI Turkey Index
Additionally, MSCI announced that it may launch a consultation on a
reclassification proposal for the MSCI Turkey Index to Frontier Markets or
Standalone Markets status if the already deteriorating accessibility level of
the Turkish equity market were to worsen further. As highlighted in the MSCI
2020 Market Accessibility Review released on June 17, 2020, the accessibility
level of the Turkish equity market has been adversely impacted by the
introduction of short selling and stock lending bans in October 2019 and
February 2020, respectively. These bans severely restrict the ability of
institutional investors to express active investment views and hedge portfolio
MSCI Iceland Index reclassification to Frontier Markets status
MSCI also announced today that it will reclassify the MSCI Iceland Index from
Standalone Markets to Frontier Markets status. The capital controls, including
the Special Reserve Ratio, were removed on March 6, 2019. While certain
reporting requirements for fund repatriation remain in place, based on feedback
from market participants, this no longer materially impacts the accessibility of
the Icelandic equity market for international institutional investors.
MSCI will include the MSCI Iceland Index in the MSCI Frontier Markets Index in
one step coinciding with the May 2021 Semi-Annual Index Review. Based on the
simulation using pro forma data as of June 18, 2020, this would lead to the
inclusion of two securities in the MSCI Frontier Market Index (excluding Kuwait)
with an estimated index weight of 5.24%. The simulated list of constituents for
the MSCI Iceland Index in the MSCI Frontier Markets Index (excluding Kuwait) has
been made available at https://www.msci.com/market-classification.
Accessibility issues in select Frontier Markets
Some market accessibility issues have been recently observed in select Frontier
Markets. The Nigerian equity market has been impacted by the significant
deterioration of liquidity in the Nigerian FX market. Lebanon has been subject
to capital controls which were introduced in October 2019. The Bangladesh
Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) introduced a floor price (set at the
average of the closing price of the immediately preceding five trading days)
applicable to all securities listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange in March 2020,
resulting in substantial drop in trading liquidity.
While such accessibility issues may be viewed by market participants as part of
the inherent characteristics of Frontier Markets, these developments have a
negative impact on the replicability of the indexes. Therefore, MSCI will
continue classifying these markets as Frontier Markets until further notice,
while applying a special treatment to potentially reduce the number of changes
in the related indexes and mitigate the index replication concerns.
MSCI will not implement selected changes for any securities classified in
Nigeria, Lebanon or Bangladesh in the relevant MSCI Country Indexes or in any
derived indexes that contain these markets. This special treatment will apply to
any potential changes that would be part of upcoming index reviews, as well as
certain corporate event implementations. This treatment has been in effect for
the MSCI Nigeria Indexes since May 13, 2020 and will be applicable to the MSCI
Lebanon Indexes and the MSCI Bangladesh Indexes effective immediately.
MSCI welcomes feedback on the level of accessibility of equity markets in
Nigeria, Lebanon and Bangladesh and will continue to monitor the situation. In
the event of further deterioration of market accessibility, MSCI may reclassify
the MSCI Nigeria Indexes, the MSCI Lebanon Indexes or the MSCI Bangladesh
Indexes to Standalone Markets status as soon as practicable. MSCI would provide
sufficient lead time prior to implementation and would consult with market
participants about the details and timing of the reclassification.
The accessibility reports for Argentina, Iceland and Nigeria are now reflected
in the MSCI 2020 Global Market Accessibility Review report available at
Reclassification of the MSCI Kuwait Index to Emerging Markets Status
As a reminder, MSCI will implement the reclassification of the MSCI Kuwait
Indexes from Frontier Markets status to Emerging Markets status in one step
coinciding with the November 2020 Semi-Annual Index Review (SAIR).
THIS IS AN ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE MSCI GLOBAL STANDARD INDEXES
End of announcement.
Further announcements may occur as needed.