Press Releases


Sonia Miklas

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 25 -- The International Finance Corporation's (IFC) Emerging Markets Data Base Group released new stock indexes today for Poland and Hungary. With the addition of Poland and Hungary, the number of emerging stock markets tracked by IFC increases to twenty-five, and the number of securities tracked by IFC in these markets increases from around 1,000 to over 1,350. IFC also supplemented its existing coverage of Nigeria with a weekly index series. The new indexes for Poland and Hungary have base period values of 100 on December 31, 1992. As with IFC's other emerging market indexes, the new indexes are market capitalization weighted and available in IFC Global (IFCG) and IFC Investable (IFCI) versions, allowing researchers to measure returns to both local and foreign-based investors. The IFC Global and Investable indexes for Poland rose a remarkable 717% in dollar terms during 1993, far higher than any other market in the world. Both indexes comprise twelve stocks with a total capitalization
of $2.14 billion, or 79% of the Warsaw Stock Exchange's total market capitalization, and account for 79% of total value traded on the exchange in 1993. The exchange's WIG All-Share Performance index ended 1993 with a gain of 787% in dollar terms. The Warsaw Stock Exchange's performance in 1993 was bolstered by Poland's aggressive privatization program. The government is planning a new mass privatization program for 1994 that will include 600 large and medium-sized state-owned companies. The program will support the development of capital markets and lead to increased foreign investment in Poland's industrial and commercial sectors. By the end of 1993, more than 400 companies were set to be privatized in 1994. The IFC Global price index for Hungary climbed 19% in dollar terms for 1993, while Hungary's IFC Investable price index gained 67%. The IFCG Hungary index comprises (more) IFC Press Release 94/53 Page Two thirteen stocks with a total capitalization of $659 million, or 80% of the Budapest Stock Exchange'

s total market capitalization, and accounts for more than 85% of the total value traded on the exchange in 1993. The five-stock IFCI Hungary index has a market capitalization of $409 million. The Budapest exchange's index ended the year with a gain of 29% in dollar terms. Three new stocks have been listed on the Budapest Stock Exchange so far in 1994, bringing the total number of stocks listed on the exchange to twenty-eight. Exchange officials are optimistic that additional privatizations and Initial Public Offering's (IPO) will take place in the coming year. However, strict listing requirementsóincluding a minimum of 20% public ownership, a total share value of at least 200 million forints ($2 million), and published audited financial statements for three business yearsóstill represent an obstacle for many companies. The new IFC indexes for Poland and Hungary will be added to the IFC's Composite and regional index series in April 1994. IFC plans to continue adding new markets to its index to stay abreast of

the rapid growth in equity markets in developing countries. 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 direct loan and equity financing for private sector projects in developing countries.