|Equity Indexes Worldwide||In Local Currencies|
|1999 Price Return (%)||1998 Price Return (%)|
The Hong Kong government plans to create a closed-end fund tracking the blue chip Hang Seng as a way to begin selling off its stock portfolio recently valued at 220 billion Hong Kong dollars ($28.4 billion), as early as November.
It’s beginning to look like one. The first index-based unit investment trusts
to trade on the American Stock Exchange were the Standard & Poor’s Depository
Receipts, or SPDRs, in 1993.
While companies like FTSE International, Dow Jones, S&Pand MSCI seem to
dominate the indexing industry, they are hardly the only players on the field.
Malaysia moved back onto international investors' radar screens after Morgan Stanley Capital International announced on August 12 that it would reinstate the country to its closely tracked indexes starting next February.
Credit Suisse First Boston Inc. is teaming up with Tremont Advisers Inc. to publish a set of hedge-fund indexes expected to be launched in early October. The joint venture will also create a line of investable index products tied to the new indexes.
"The premise of the master index is to measure the investors' experience in hedge funds," said Hunt Taylor, senior vice president of Tremont Advisers. Overall performance of hedge funds in general can be hard to determine.
Standard & Poor's recently added another index to its collection of regional and country indexes that will make up the S&P Global 1200. The S&P/TOPIX 150 index is the joint creation of S&P and the Toyko Stock Exchange. It joins a family of indexes that so far covers the United States, Canada and Europe. Real time calculation of the index began at the end of July.
European investors want more from their market-index providers, but some fear they are getting less.
As companies merge, the number of stocks in broader European indexes is shrinking significantly and fund managers say that is hurting their efforts to diversify. But index providers claim it's too soon to lengthen their lists, even though "It's possible the broad indexes will soon become the blue-chip indexes," as Scott Stark has quipped. He is Stoxx Ltd.'s regional director for the U.K. and Ireland.
Dow Jones & Co., the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, has launched a new global equity-benchmark index aimed at investors who follow Islamic investment guidelines.
The new index - called the Dow Jones Islamic Market Index, or DJIMI -tracks about 600 companies whose products and services are permissible according to strict interpretations of Shari'ah law. The companies in the index are from 30 countries around the world, including the U.S.