Emerging Markets Continue to Outpace Developed Markets

March 09, 2004

Research from Standard & Poor's.

The global rebound in stock prices that began in April 2003 continued for a record 11th straight month through February, with a 2.09% gain in the S&P/Citigroup Broad Market Index Global Composite (BMI Global), according to S&P. The BMI Global tracks 52 markets around the world with over 7,500 stocks, covering 97% global market capitalization.

Since the winning streak began, the BMI Global has rebounded by nearly 50% in U.S. dollar terms, although stocks remain 12.72% below the all-time peak set in March 2000. Leading the global recovery are emerging markets, which posted a gain of 5.35% for the S&P/Citigroup BMI Emerging Markets index.

Emerging markets performance was led by the BMI Emerging Europe, up 9.31% for the month, and the BMI Mid-East & Africa, a 6% advance. Also strong were the BMI Emerging Asia-Pacific and the BMI Latin America, which posted nearly identical gains of 4.73% and 4.72%, respectively, in U.S. dollar terms. This compares with the BMI Developed World, which rose 1.94% for February, according to S&P.

'Emerging markets have outperformed the developed markets in every month except one since April 2003,' said Patrick Kerr, Associate Director, Standard & Poor's. 'Since then, the BMI Emerging Markets index has surged 67.92%, while the BMI Developed World has gained 36.82%, each in U.S. dollar terms.'

Other areas of strong performance in February included value stocks as the BMI World Value rose 2.4%, beating the 1.46% increase for the BMI World Growth. Overall, small-cap stocks retained a performance advantage over large-caps.

The Extended Market Index (EMI) Developed World, which measures the small-cap universe (defined as the bottom 20% BMI market cap for each developed country), gained 2.50% in February, topping the 1.78% rise for the Primary Market Index (PMI) Developed World which measures the large-cap universe (defined as the top 80% BMI market cap for each country). Among Emerging Markets, the EMI, or small-cap indicator, surged 6.18%, outpacing the 5.11% advance for the PMI Emerging Markets large-cap indicator.

'Among small-cap stocks, the emerging markets advantage is even greater than large-caps, with the EMI Emerging Markets soaring 81.81%, versus a 49.49% gain for the EMI Developed World,' Kerr added.

The full monthly report of index performance and commentary entitled, 'The World By Numbers: Global Stock Market Review' offers index performance and total return figures by country and region, is available on http://www.indices.standardandpoors.com/.




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