In September, FTSE Group unveiled the results of its annual country classification review. The index provider has a four-tiered system that includes categories for developed markets, advanced emerging, secondary emerging—which is less developed than advanced emerging—and frontier. The index provider conducts its annual review every September.
The 2011 review saw a change in status for two countries. Effective March 2012, Thailand’s status will be upgraded to advanced emerging from secondary emerging. Also, effective June 2012, Ghana will be included in the FTSE universe as a frontier market.
Colombia, which had been on the watch list for a possible demotion to frontier status since 2008, was removed from the list as of the September review. However, seven countries remain on the list for promotions or demotions.
Poland and Taiwan are both on the list to be upgraded to developed status, from advanced emerging status. Meanwhile, Greece, given all its recent problems, is on the list for the exact opposite reason: It faces a possible downgrade from developed to advanced emerging.
Kazakhstan and Ukraine are both on the list for inclusion in the FTSE universe as frontier markets if their markets keep improving, while the China A-shares market and Kuwait are contenders for inclusion as secondary emerging markets, skipping right over the frontier market designation.