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IFC TO ADD 17 NEW MARKETS TO ITS COVERAGE OF EMERGING STOCK MARKETS -- Russia Now in Daily Index -- 14 New `Frontier Markets`


Michael Stopford
Phone: (202) 458-4698
Fax: (202) 676-0365


WASHINGTON, D.C., June 20 -- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced today that it will add 17 new markets to its coverage of emerging stock markets. Heading the list of countries to be added are Egypt, Morocco, and Russia. These three countries will be added to the daily index series starting September 30th, 1996.

Another 14 countries will be added to IFC's monthly index series. These "frontier" markets include:


Eastern Europe
Bulgaria
Lithuania
Slovakia
Slovenia


Africa/Middle East
Botswana
Cote d'Ivoire
Ghana
Kenya
Mauritius
Tunisia


Asia
Bangladesh


Latin America/Caribbean
Ecuador
Jamaica
Trinidad & Tobago
The addition of these 17 countries brings to 44 the total number of emerging markets covered by IFC.


According to IFC's EVP Jannik Lindbaek, " The role of emerging stock markets in the world economy has been expanding rapidly. I am particularly pleased by the expansion of the EMDB database to these additional countries in recognition of the growing importance of their markets. The inclusion in the daily index of Russia, Egypt and Morocco demonstrates the progress of economic reform in these countries. It is equally encouraging that the IFC's pioneering database has been able to add frontier markets from all regions. The addition of several new African markets reflects the important steps that have been taken in many African countries to encourage private sector investment, and the new interest in investment opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa."


Coverage of Central and Eastern Europe has now been greatly expanded. The IFC indexes already cover three countries in Eastern Europe: the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. Some of this year's best gains have been in these three stock markets. The IFC Investable index for the Czech Republic is up 22% in US$ terms for the year. For Hungary, the IFC index is up 73%, and for Poland, the index is up 60%. The new coverage in Eastern Europe will bring to eight the number of countries in the region for which IFC calculates its indices.


The three countries to be added to the daily series will initially be included in the IFC Global index series. They will feature in the IFC Global Composite Index in January, 1997. A decision on listing these countries in the Investable index series will be taken at a later date.


A new extended global index incorporating the 14 frontier markets will also be calculated.


Details on the index constituents for each of the 17 new countries will be released closer to the launch date for the new IFC indexes.


IFC coverage provides reliable, comprehensive and the widest available statistics on emerging stock markets' performance. It aims to meet the needs of global investors and to stimulate 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.