New Indices Help Investors Rank Gulf Region Investments

January 23, 2006 ( - MSCI Barra has announced the launch of 17 new equity indices for countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Countries in the GCC are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.   Two index series have been created, one reflecting the investment restrictions applied to a GCC-based investor and the other reflecting the restrictions applied to a domestic investor, according to the announcement.

The new indices will be available to clients and through major vendors, starting on January 24, 2006.   Price and DTR indices will be computed on a daily basis.  However, the stock exchanges of the GCC countries are all open on Sunday and, for some of the largest of these markets, also on Saturday.   MSCI Barra will not be calculating the new indices on Saturday and Sunday initially, but will provide the share price performance for those days beginning in the second quarter of 2006.

The indices include:

  • Six domestic country indices, based on conditions relevant to domestic investors and using Domestic Inclusion Factors (DIFs): MSCI Saudi Arabia Domestic Index, MSCI United Arab Emirates Domestic Index, MSCI Kuwait Domestic Index, MSCI Qatar Domestic Index, MSCI Bahrain Domestic Index, and MSCI Oman Domestic Index.
  • Six country indices based on conditions relevant to GCC investors, using Foreign Inclusion Factors (FIFs) reflecting the Foreign Ownership Limit (FOL) applicable to GCC-based investors: MSCI Saudi Arabia Index, MSCI United Arab Emirates Index, MSCI Kuwait Index, MSCI Qatar Index, MSCI Bahrain Index, and MSCI Oman Index.
  • Five regional indices: MSCI GCC Countries Index (being the aggregate of the six country indices above), MSCI GCC Countries ex Saudi Arabia Index, MSCI Jordan, Egypt & Morocco Index (being the aggregate of the existing MSCI Jordan Index, the MSCI Egypt Index and the MSCI Morocco Index), MSCI Arabian Markets Index (MSCI GCC Countries Index + MSCI Jordan, Egypt & Morocco Index), and MSCI Arabian Markets ex Saudi Arabia Index.

Since the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman currently apply identical investment restrictions to GCC-based investors as they do to international investors, the MSCI GCC Countries ex Saudi Arabia Index can be used as a proxy for the region by international investors, according to the announcement.

More information on the MSCI GCC Countries Indices can be found at .