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IFC LAUNCHES NEW TRADEABLE INDEXES IFC100, ASIA50 AND LATIN50


Iyad Malas
(202) 473-9112


WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 25 -- The International Finance Corporation's (IFC) Emerging Markets Data Base Group has developed three new tradeable indexes, the IFC100, Asia50 and Latin50, which comprise the largest, most actively traded stocks in the emerging markets. These new indexes are IFC's first daily products and are designed to be reliable indicators of day-to-day stock price movement in the overall asset class and in two of the major geographic regions. The indexes are calculated daily in U.S. dollar terms and prices will be widely disseminated in the electronic and print media. The market capitalization of the IFC100 was US$222.4 billion at the end of September 1994, compared to a market capitalization of US$501.9 billion for the IFC Investable Composite (IFCI) Index. The base date for IFC's daily indexes is January 4, 1993, which corresponds to the index level of 1000. As of October 21, 1994, the IFC100 stood at 1794.1 down 2.8% since the beginning of 1994; the IFC Asia50 stood at 2094.6 down 4.0%; and
the IFC Latin50 stood at 1711.1 up 5.5%. IFC created these new indexes in response to investors' need for blue-chip indicators for emerging markets. The indexes were developed after extensive discussions with exchange officials and equity traders. IFC introduced its investable index series in 1993 in response to investor demand for a broad benchmark that would reflect accurately the overall investment universe available in emerging markets. "The new indexes are designed to serve several important developmental purposes, and we hope that the IFC100, Asia50 and Latin50 will be to emerging markets what the S&P500 is to the U.S. stock market or the FTSE100 for British equities," stated Farida Khambata, Director of the Central Capital Markets Department. The creation of flexible investment vehicles based on the indexes is expected to help mobilize substantial portfolio investment as well as improve liquidity in the emerging markets. The indexes are also likely to bring more standardization and transparency to emer

ging market derivative activity, thus facilitating regulatory oversight as well as lowering costs for investors. IFC's Emerging Markets Data Base is the world's leading source of data on emerging stock markets and serves as a vital statistical resource for the international financial community. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral source of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing countries.