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New Look Awaits Big EM ETF


Following index provider MSCI’s (MSCI) annual market reclassification, which was published Tuesday, at least one major, diversified emerging markets ETF is in for some changes.

Here is a brief rundown of what MSCI did: Morocco has been demoted to frontier from emerging market. Greece has been dumped to emerging from developed market. After four years of trying Qatar and the United Arab Emirates earned promotions to emerging markets from frontier. [Another Index Provider Demotes Greece]

In demoting Greece, MSCI noted that developed markets “reflect continuous market improvements introduced by authorities in other countries over the years,” but that few of the those improvements are reflected in Greece. Greece fails to meet MSCI criteria on securities lending, short selling, lending facilities and transferability. The index provider added that the MSCI Greece Index has not met its standards for developed market status for the past two years, according to a statement.

Some market participants are already trying to figure out what the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, the index tracked by the $37.3 billion iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund (EEM) , will look like in the future.

In a piece for Barron’s, Ben Levisohn offers up HSBC’s look at the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The bank sees Greece going in with a weight of 0.96% and seven stocks. Qatar and UAE will receive weights of 0.41% and 0.35%, respectively, while contributing a combined 13 stocks to the index.

MSCI itself demystified EEM’s potential future look in an interview with Reuters. The index provider said Greece will get a weight of 0.3% in the emerging markets index while Qatar and UAE will garner 0.45% and 0.4%.

Morocco will command 6.7% in the MSCI Frontier Markets Index. That weight would make the North African country the sixth-largest country holding in the current lineup of the iShares MSCI Frontier 100 ETF (FM) .

The bottom line for EEM is that Brazil, China, South Korea and Taiwan will remain the ETF’s primary drivers of performance.

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund

ETF Trends Editorial team contributed to this post. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of EEM.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.