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IFC LAUNCHES NEW REGIONAL INDEXES FOR EMERGING MARKETS


Brigid Janssen
Phone: (202) 458-4698
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: bjanssen@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C.,  May 4, 1998-- IFC has added seven new regional indexes to its family of emerging stock market indexes.  The IFC Investable index (IFCI) and the IFC Global (IFCG) index series now each carry regional indexes for Emerging Europe, Eastern Europe and Mideast/Africa, as well as a new IFCG Europe/Mideast/Africa (EMEA) index.

The IFCI indexes measure returns on stocks which are available to foreign investors. The IFCG indexes show the performance of the most active stocks in their respective stock markets even if they are unavailable to foreign investors, and are designed as the broadest possible indicator of market movements.


The new regional indexes and related valuation data are true sub-series of the IFCI and IFCG Composite indexes and offer a seamless match to the widely used benchmarks. The new regional index has history back to Dec. 31, 1995.


The IFC Eastern Europe indexes include the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Slovakia. It is a subset of the Emerging Europe index which also includes Greece, Portugal and Turkey. The IFCI Europe Index has a year-to-date gain of 14% in dollar terms, while the IFCI Eastern Europe Index is down nearly 7%.


The IFC Mideast/Africa (MEA) indexes cover Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria (in the IFCG series only), South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The IFCI MEA Index was up 22% in dollar terms in 1998 at Friday’s close, and is the major contributor to IFCI EMEA’s 18% rise in 1998 to date.


Peter Wall, manager of IFC’s index unit said the new regional indexes would fill a gap and serve as a much-needed benchmark for regions that have grown enormously in importance for emerging market investors in the past three years. These indexes would help investors differentiate sources of risk and return within the broad category of emerging stock markets, he said. They can be seen at the IFC indexes website (www.ifc.org/EMDB/DAILY.HTM) and through other sources commonly carrying IFC indexes.


IFC provides comprehensive, reliable statistics on emerging stock market performance with the goal of stimulating the flow of private capital to emerging markets. It is the world’s leading publisher of data on stock markets in developing countries.


IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the developing world by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in international financial markets and providing technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.


For more information about the IFC Indexes, contact Peter Wall at (202) 473-9108, e-mail pwall@ifc.org, or check IFC’s website at www.ifc.org/press.