WASHINGTON, D.C., Apr. 6—The International
Finance Corporation (IFC) announced today that it will include Israel in
its set of benchmark indexes for emerging stock markets. The addition of
Israel will bring IFC index coverage to 45 emerging markets.
IFC's Israel coverage will focus on the largest and most active stocks
listed on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). The IFC Israeli stock coverage
will have an estimated total capitalization of approximately $28 billion
at today's prices, before IFC makes its standard adjustments to eliminate
cross-ownership and government holdings from the index. As such ownership
is extensive in Israeli companies, the IFC Israel indexes' capitalizations
will be considerably less than their constituents' full capitalization.
IFC will launch Global Israel (IFCG) and Investable Israel (IFCI) indexes,
initially on stand-alone bases. Israel's inclusion in the IFC Composite
indexes will be considered at IFC's next Index Advisory Panel meeting.
The indexes will have a base of December 31, 1996, and be available on
a daily basis. The IFC Israel indexes are expected to be available daily
from Monday, May 19. Details on the IFCG and IFCI Israel indexes' constituents
will be released approximately two weeks prior to the launch date.
"The addition of Israel to the IFC Index series will make possible
new regional Mideast indexes that are expected to be highly popular benchmarks,"
said Robert Shakotko, manager of IFC's emerging markets index group. IFC
already has indexes from the region, for Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.
IFC provides reliable, comprehensive and the widest available statistics
on emerging stock market performance. It aims to meet the needs of global
investors and to stimulate the flow of private capital to emerging markets.
Industry sources estimate that approximately $7.5 billion is managed in
index funds linked to IFC indexes, and that billions more are benchmarked
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.