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IFC ADDS EGYPT, MOROCCO, RUSSIA, SLOVAKIA TO ITS EMERGING MARKETS INVESTABLE INDEXES


Michael Stopford
Phone: (202) 458-4698
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: mstopford@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 5- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) launched on February 4, 1997 new IFC Investable Indexes for Egypt, Morocco, Russia, and Slovakia. At the same time, it upgraded the Slovakia Index from its monthly covered "frontier market" series to its daily Global Index series.

The inclusion of the new markets into IFC Index coverage is expected to enhance portfolio investment into those markets by domestic and international investors, as the markets have become comparable with other leading emerging markets. According to the manager of IFC's Emerging Market Data Bases, Robert Shakotko, "The impact of these new Indexes for Egypt, Morocco, Russia and Slovakia will be particularly significant because IFC Investable Indexes are typically used by fund managers to evaluate portfolio performance. Hence we can expect the Indexes to attract new portfolio investment flows to these four countries."


On September 30, 1996 IFC added Egypt, Morocco and Russia to its coverage of emerging stock markets under the Global Index series. At the same time Slovakia was included in the monthly listing of "frontier markets." The decision to include these markets in the Investable Index series demonstrates the progress made in the expansion and mature development of their stock markets.


IFC publishes emerging stock market indexes which are recognized as reliable market benchmarks in the worldwide financial industry. The index coverage has expanded rapidly in recent years and currently IFC tracks 44 countries. IFC indexes have two index series: Global Index series and Investable Index series, with each series comprising country indexes, regional indexes and a composite index .


The IFC Global Indexes are created from the local investors' perspective to represent overall market movement without taking into account foreign investment restriction. From today, the IFC Global Index series covers 31 countries including Slovakia on a daily basis and 13 frontier markets on a monthly basis. The Slovakia Global Index is a stand-alone country index and its not being included in the Global Composite Index. Daily calculation of an IFC Global Slovakia Index, however, means that this index becomes eligible for inclusion in the IFC Global Composite Index in the future.


The IFC Investable Indexes are created from the international investors' perspective to represent market movement of the universe available to foreign investors. From today IFC Investable Indexes cover 30 countries on a daily basis. The four new Investable Indexes are stand-alone country indexes not being included in the Investable Composite Index at this stage. These markets are expected to be included in the Investable Composite Index when they become sufficiently accessible by foreign investors in terms of liquidity and custodian/settlement mechanism.


IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the leading multilateral source of equity and loan finance for private sector projects in developing countries.