MSCI may list UAE in emerging markets index

MSCI Barra is poised to reveal the conclusions of a review of its Emerging Markets Index that could pave the way for the UAE to join the benchmark.

The index is a global reference for emerging equity markets and inclusion would see a huge increase in foreign investment in UAE stocks.

The country classification review, which was to be released early this morning, will determine whether any criteria for compiling the index will change and this may lead to new members being included. However, MSCI Barra has stressed that any decisions affecting constituents would be announced separately. "Significant index changes, if any, following the specific consultation would be implemented with ample lead time," a company statement added.

Speculation is rife that the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait will join the index and a report from Shuaa Capital claimed that such a move could channel up to $50 billion (Dh183.62bn) worth of foreign capital.

"If the GCC states are included in the index, it would be extremely positive and lead to significant inflows from foreign funds," said Julian Bruce, EFG-Hermes director of institutional equity sales.