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. The new indices are designed for institutional investors wishing to invest in these regions that are not constrained by foreign ownership limits, according to the announcement.
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.
MSCI Barra says that 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.