New Barclays Index Moves Beyond BRIC

November 29, 2010

Barclays builds on BRIC with new emerging markets index.

Barclays Capital, the investment banking division of Barclays Bank, launched an emerging markets index aimed at institutional investors that goes beyond framing holdings around the BRIC cornerstones—Brazil, Russia, India and China—and focuses instead on what the company sees as the sector’s leading performers.

The Barclays Capital Advanced Emerging Market Equity Index, or AEM Index, initially includes Brazil, China, Singapore, Chile, Korea, Taiwan, Israel, South Africa, Poland and the Czech Republic, the company said in a press release.

Based on proprietary research, the index comprises equities from countries that have not only performed well in the past, especially those that showed resilience during the global economic slowdown triggered by the U.S. credit crisis in 2008, but also those that display good financial exposure and policy improvements, the company said.

The new index underscores the market’s growing appetite for emerging markets, which analysts say will outpace developed nations’ growth significantly in the next few years. The AEM Index is the latest addition to a growing roster of Barclays Capital emerging markets benchmarks. Last month it launched an emerging markets sovereign debt index.

“Many market participants now view the BRIC concept as too narrow,” Laurence Black, head of EFS Quantitative Investment Strategies at Barclays Capital, said in the release.

The AEM Index seeks to maximize risk-adjusted returns and minimize volatility by focusing on developing countries that display “solid and stable” growth prospects.

The benchmark will adjust exposure as Barclays Capital Emerging Markets Research updates scores for each nation on a semiannual basis.  The portfolio is based on market capitalization and liquidity of securities from each country.

“The AEM Index translates Barclays Capital Emerging Markets research into a tradable and liquid solution,” Jose Mazoy, Barclays Capital’s director of index, portfolio and risk solutions, said in the release.


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