MSCI launches emerging market index excluding BRICs

LONDON (Reuters) - Stock index compiler MSCI has launched an emerging market index that excludes the large but lagging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China, the firm said on Thursday.

Around $1.3 trillion in assets is benchmarked against MSCI's emerging market index, and the BRIC markets make up more than 40 percent of that.

But BRIC markets have performed poorly, despite the rapid growth their economies have enjoyed in the past few years.

Investors have highlighted concern about transparency in these stock markets and the risk of government interference.

"We have launched the MSCI EM Beyond BRIC Index in response to client demand," said Deborah Yang, head of the MSCI Index Business in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India, in a statement.

"Many institutional investors already have exposure to those (BRIC) countries within their portfolios."

The EM Beyond BRIC index, which contains the 17 other countries in the Emerging Market index, has returned 2.83 percent on a gross annualised basis since 2007, while the Emerging Markets index has lost 2.1 percent.

The largest countries in the Beyond BRIC index are Taiwan and South Korea, whose weightings will be capped at 15 percent, MSCI said.

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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