MSCI Inc. declined. Other index providers for Russian stocks are off global benchmarks this week, a move that ripples through billions of dollars of investment tracking global markets.
The MSCI changes became effective Wednesday afternoon and affect two of the largest emerging market ETFs: the iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF, which is passed by the EEM Index.
MSCI Inc. said. And S&P Dow Jones Indices and FTSE Russell said Russian stocks would be removed from global equity standards at a “zero” or “virtual zero” price after consultation with market participants. The S&P changes went into effect Wednesday morning.
S&P Dow Jones Indices also said it is consulting with market participants about the possible removal of Russian bonds from fixed income indices. FTSE Contact He made a similar move last week.
Index providers said they were removing Russia after the United States imposed sanctions on the country, leaving Russia disconnected from the global financial system. Russian assets, from bonds to currencies and the exchange-traded funds that track their stocks, have been plummeting over the past week during a series of frantic trading sessions. The country has been cut off from the global economy since its invasion of Ukraine.
There are more than 250 Standard & Poor’s indexes that will be affected by the change, according to the company. Russia is omitted from more than 9,600 indexes in MSCI.
Analysts said the effect of the move would be determined by weighing Russia on each criterion it contained.
For example, EEM tracks the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which had a 1.6% weighting in Russian stocks as of the end of February. According to fund disclosures, the approximately $26 billion fund owned about $155 million from Russia’s Sberbank as of the end of December. By Tuesday, the position was worth $3,023.37, and the fund gave it no weight.
Many active mutual fund managers also track these indices and may choose to hold more or less state stocks in their portfolios. This could result in them falling behind the standard if their holdings are discontinued.
“It’s more meaningful for active managers,” said Todd Rosenbluth, head of ETF and mutual fund research at CFRA. “In theory, if you have more [of your portfolio] In stocks that are illiquid and you cannot get rid of them, it will be a medium-term burden on your portfolio.”
For example, if an active fund manager decides to hold more Russian stocks than a benchmark index, she will have a greater allocation to stocks that are now worth nothing but passive investments that have tracked the index. This can affect returns.
“Infuriatingly humble analyst. Bacon maven. Proud food specialist. Certified reader. Avid writer. Zombie advocate. Incurable problem solver.”