MSCI Barra expands Middle East index offering

Source: MSCI Barra

MSCI Barra (NYSE:MXB), a leading provider of investment decision support tools worldwide, including indices and portfolio risk and performance analytics, announced today the addition of four new indices to its MSCI Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries & Arabian Markets Indices family, which was launched in January 2006.

Two of the new indices, the MSCI GCC Countries Domestic Index and the MSCI Arabian Markets Domestic Index, are domestic versions of existing regional indices. These new indices are designed for institutional investors wishing to invest in these regions that are not constrained by foreign ownership limits.

"Following their launch over two years ago, the MSCI GCC Countries & Arabian Markets Indices have become the most widely used benchmark indices for the region," said James Leggate, Executive Director and Head of MSCI Barra in the Middle East. "Over the last year or so investment restrictions for GCC-based investors have been eased. This has led to demand from our clients in the Middle East for domestic versions of the main regional indices."

The other two indices are new regional composite indices created by combining existing country indices. The MSCI Arabian Markets & Africa Index and the MSCI Arabian Markets & Africa ex Saudi Arabia Index are designed for institutional investors who have broadened their country exposure to include African countries.

All four new indices can be segmented by size and by sectors, and will be available on request to eligible clients directly from MSCI Barra in early October. They will be added to the existing MSCI equity index products in early December, 2008. History for the new indices will be available back to May 31, 2002, and will be provided in Q1 2009.

MSCI Barra also calculates Islamic Indices and delivers end-of-day index and constituent data on Saturdays and Sundays for the MSCI GCC Countries & Arabian Markets Indices.

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