What is MSCI and why is it important?

MSCI Indexes

The MSCI Indexes are a way of measuring stock market performance in a certain region. It measures the performance of the stocks included in the index, just like other indexes like the Dow Jones Averages or the S&P 500. Exchange-traded funds are based on the MSCI Indexes. The ETF invests in the same stocks as the Index. As a result, investors can profit from the Index’s gains. Indexes are also the benchmarks on which actively managed mutual funds make their decisions. The MSCI Indexes are followed by the exchange-traded funds. Managed mutual funds attempt to outperform them by selecting higher-performing stocks.

What is MSCI?

MSCI is a provider of research-based indexes and analytics. The company’s most well-known products are its stock market indexes, which are used by investors to track the performance of various markets and segments around the world. MSCI also provides a range of other products and services, such as risk management tools and portfolio construction tools, to help investors make better-informed investment decisions.

How They Work

MSCI chooses equities that are easy to trade and have a lot of liquidity for its equity indices. The equities must have active investor engagement and no limits on who can hold them. MSCI must strike a balance between precision and efficiency. It must comprise a sufficient number of equities to accurately reflect the underlying equity market. It also can’t contain so many stocks that ETFs and mutual funds can’t replicate the index. Each Index adds up to the entire market capitalization of all stocks. The stock price multiplied by the number of outstanding shares equals the market capitalization. The S& P 500 utilizes the same approach as the Dow, but not the Dow. Both US dollars and local currencies are used to determine market capitalization. This offers you an overview of how the index is performing without taking currency rates into account. Monday through Friday, each index is updated. Each index is also rebalanced twice a year and evaluated periodically. This is when the index’s management adds or subtracts equities to ensure that the Index appropriately represents the makeup of the underlying equity market.

As a result, MSCI Indexes can influence the market. All ETFs and mutual funds that track an index must purchase and sell the same stocks when it is rebalanced. When a stock is added to the index, its share price normally rises. When a stock is removed from an index, the reverse occurs.

MSCI Index India

The MSCI Index India is used to assess the performance of the Indian market’s big and mid-cap categories. MSCI Index India employs the MSCI Global Investable Indexes (GIMI) methodology. The MSCI Index India covers approximately 85% of the Indian stock universe. The following are the four constituents:


  • Largest
  • Smallest
  • Average
  • Median

Why is MSCI India important?

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remain one of the most powerful forces in the Indian equities market. Since the early 2000s, FIIs, particularly long-only funds, have regarded India to be one of the most appealing markets. Foreign investors seeking information on the stability and volatility of share prices in the Indian capital market resort to MSCI indexes, which serve as reliable indications of the Indian market’s health.

The bigger the weighting of a business in the index, the greater the overall amount of foreign investment in the equities. If a company’s weightage is diminished, there is always the potential that foreign investors would withdraw their investment. To put it another way, the amount of money a foreigner will put into an Indian stock is almost always determined by the firm’s weighting in the MSCI Index. Many investors choose to use a benchmark or passive investment approach. They put their money into an index following the index’s weight. If an investor has Rs 1 crore, they will divide it and invest in a single stock based on its index weighting. So, if a stock has a 10% weighting in the index, it will invest 10% of Rs 1 crore, or Rs 10 lakh, in that stock. Foreign investors who passively invest in the MSCI India Index must re-adjust their portion of their investment in individual shares each time the index components are re-formed or the weights are adjusted.

Recent changes in MSCI Index

MSCI has announced modifications to its MSCI India index as part of its semi-annual index review, which will take effect on November 26, 2019. This is an important benchmark index for international funds with a focus on India.

Additions: Berger Paints DLF Colgate HDFC AMC ICICI Prudential Life SBI Life Siemens India Info Edge Deletions: Vodafone Idea Yes Bank Indiabulls Housing Finance Glenmark Pharma

Deletions: Vodafone Idea Yes Bank Indiabulls Housing Finance Glenmark Pharma

MSCI indexes track the performance of stocks in certain sectors and are frequently used as the foundation for exchange-traded funds (ETFs). ETFs are purchased by investors, and their investments reflect gains or losses resulting from changes in the equities in the index on which they are based. These indexes, like mutual funds, are actively managed to maximize returns. MSCI’s India-based indexes are designed to represent the Indian stock markets by including a sufficient number of stocks. MSCI offers some indexes designed to reflect various markets, including a global index. To give an efficient depiction of the underlying equities markets that the index tracks, they are examined quarterly and rebalanced twice a year. Because every rebalance, the ETF or mutual fund investing in the Indian markets will also have to purchase or sell the stocks that have been added or removed from the index for India, MSCI indexes can influence the way specific stocks are seen. As a result, the prices of the impacted domestic equities will rise or fall as funds purchase or sell them to reflect the adjustments.


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