, March 29, 2005
 (STAR) By Zinnia B. Dela Peña  - Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI), a leading provider of global equity and fixed-income indices used by institutional investors worldwide, is set to include the Philippines in its roster of equity indices on a real-time basis.

In a statement, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) said it has signed an agreement with MSCI that will allow the latter to use the PSE’s market data in the creation of regional, sectoral and industry benchmark indices.

Since MSCI indices are widely recognized as performance indicators, PSE president and chief executive officer Francis Lim said the local bourse’s inclusion in MSCI’s global equity indices is a move forward in providing not only real time data but also in catering to the dynamic needs of the international marketplace.

"This is a feather in the cap not only of the PSE but of the country as a whole.

Clearly this means that the country is being given the recognition for the gains that are taking place in the marketplace," Lim said.

He added that this development also signifies renewed investor interest in the country. "This breakthrough affirms what market analysts have been saying nowadays: the country is back on the radar screen of the foreign and domestic investment communities."

The availability of the MSCI Philippine indices will conform to the widely adopted and referenced Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS), developed jointly by MSCI and Standard and Poor’s (S&P) in 1999.

The GICS methodology has been accepted as an industry analysis framework for investment research, portfolio management, and asset allocation. The GICS structure consists of 10 sectors, 24 industry groups, 64 industries and 139 sub-industries.

MSCI’s equity indices are designed to fulfill the investment needs of a wide variety of global institutional market participants. In constructing these indices, MSCI consistently applies its index construction and maintenance methodology across 23 developed and 27 emerging markets. This consistent approach makes it possible to aggregate individual country and industry indices to create meaningful composite, regional, sector and industry benchmarks.

Close to 2,000 organizations worldwide currently use the MSCI international equity benchmarks. MSCI estimates that over $3 trillion are currently benchmarked to these indices on a worldwide basis.

MSCI is headquartered in New York, and conducts business worldwide with operations in Geneva, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Frankfurt, Milan, Paris, Princeton and San Francisco.

In January, the PSE emerged as the best-performing stock exchange in the region with the 30-company composite index surging 10.8 percent or 196.73 points to 2,019.56 from 1,822.83 in December last year. It was the second-best performer in 2004 with the index climbing 26.4 percent or 380.5 points at 1,822.83 from 1,442.37 in 2003.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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