WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 4 —The International
Finance Corporation (IFC) today announced that Egypt, Israel, Morocco,
Russia, and Slovakia are now being figured into the IFC Investable (IFCI)
Composite Index. The addition of these countries brings the number of emerging
stock markets covered by the IFCI Composite Index to 31, representing 1,426
stocks with a market value in excess of US$769 billion.
The new countries have initial weights of 0.9% for Egypt, 2.4% for Israel,
0.9% for Morocco, 5.1% for Russia, and 0.2% for Slovakia. The effective
date of inclusion was November 3, 1997.
"The addition of these five markets to the IFCI Composite attests
to the progress they have made in important areas of capital markets development
including foreign investment regulations, clearing and settlement, transparency,
and liquidity," said Julio Lastres, Director of IFC's Central Capital
IFC has developed a series of indexes for investors interested in investing
in stock markets in developing countries. The IFCI index series, which
includes country indexes, regional indexes and the Composite index, measures
returns foreign portfolio investors might receive from those stocks available
to foreign investors. These indexes are widely used by index tracking funds,
and industry sources estimate that approximately US$8 billion is managed
in index funds linked to the IFCI indexes and that billions more are benchmarked
against these indexes.
The stand alone country indexes for Egypt, Morocco, Russia, and Slovakia
have been calculated since February 3, 1997 while the stand alone Israel
index has been calculated since April 7, 1997. All five markets were added
to the regional IFCI Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) index on November
3 as well. IFC provides comprehensive and reliable statistics on emerging
stock market performance, with the ultimate objective of stimulating the
flow of private capital to emerging markets.
IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the leading multilateral
source of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing
countries. It is also the world's leading publisher of data on stock markets
in developing countries.