March 30, 2023

FTSE Russell announces the results of its March 2023 country classification review for equities and fixed income

FTSE Russell, a leading global index provider, has published the results of its March 2023 country classification review for equities and fixed income.

Fixed Income  

FTSE Russell announces that South Korea will remain on the Watch List for a potential upgrade to Market Accessibility Level ‘2’ and for consideration for inclusion in the FTSE World Government Bond Index (WGBI). This follows announcements by the South Korean market authorities of several proposed initiatives intended to improve the market’s structure and the accessibility of South Korean capital markets. FTSE Russell will continue to gather feedback from market participants as the proposed reforms are implemented to assess the practical experiences of international investors against the requirements for a Market Accessibility Level upgrade.  

India will be retained on the Watch List for a potential upgrade to Market Accessibility Level ‘1’ and for consideration for inclusion in the FTSE Emerging Markets Government Bond Index (EMGBI). FTSE Russell continues to engage with its index users and Indian market authorities regarding ongoing market structure reforms.

Switzerland will also remain on the Watch List for a potential upgrade to Market Accessibility Level ‘2’ and for consideration for inclusion in the WGBI. 

The full FTSE Fixed Income Country Classification Announcement can be found here: Fixed Income – March 2023 Announcement.

Equity

Nigeria will remain on the Watch List for potential reclassification from Frontier to Unclassified market status. Investors continue to report significant, ongoing delays to the repatriation of capital from Nigeria, which began in 2020. FTSE Russell will provide an update on the status of Nigeria at the end of June 2023; in the interim, Nigeria’s rating against the repatriation of capital criterion has been downgraded from ‘Restricted’ to ‘Not Met’ within the FTSE Equity Country Classification Framework. 

Vietnam remains on the Watch List for a possible reclassification to Secondary Emerging market status as the market has yet to meet the settlement requirements stipulated in the FTSE Equity Country Classification Framework. The market continues to pursue various regulatory reforms and an upgrade to the main trading platform, which FTSE Russell continues to monitor.  

FTSE Russell also continues to engage with certain Frontier markets which have faced a deterioration of foreign exchange (FX) availability and intends to provide an update on the status of markets including Bangladesh, Ghana, and Kenya as part of the September 2023 annual review of markets, as required. 

The full FTSE Equity Country Classification Announcement can be found here: Equity – March 2023 Announcement.

David Sol, Global Head of Index Policy at FTSE Russell, comments: 

 “At the heart of FTSE Russell’s approach to the classification of equity and fixed income markets is the ongoing monitoring of the accessibility and economic realities of global markets. Through our proactive programme of engagement and market analysis, FTSE Russell equity and fixed income indices remain fit for purpose and reflect both the opportunities and challenges faced by investors. Our March 2023 interim update is transparent and informative, simultaneously defining the status quo and the path forward for the evolution of our indices and associated frameworks”.   

More information on the Equity Country Classification framework and the Fixed Income Country Classification framework can be found on our website. The next update will be published in September 2023.

– Ends –

Notes to editors:

A summary of the relevance of each country classification level where it relates to global index eligibility is included below.

Fixed Income 

Market Accessibility level Eligible FTSE Russell fixed income index
2 FTSE World Government Bond Index (WGBI)
1 FTSE Emerging Markets Government Bond Index (EMGBI) 
0 FTSE Frontier Emerging Markets Index

Equity

Country Classification Eligible FTSE Russell equity index
Developed FTSE Developed Index
Advanced Emerging FTSE Emerging Index
Secondary Emerging FTSE Emerging Index
Frontier FTSE Frontier Index

Global Media

Elizabeth Manets (US/Canada)
+1 646-794-7689
elizabeth.manets@lseg.com

Hayley Fewster (UK/EMEA)
+44 7855 981021
hayley.fewster@lseg.com

Tarek Fleihan (APAC)
+971562162575
tarek.fleihan@lseg.com

About FTSE Russell

FTSE Russell is a global index leader that provides innovative benchmarking, analytics and data solutions for investors worldwide. FTSE Russell calculates thousands of indexes that measure and benchmark markets and asset classes in more than 70 countries, covering 98% of the investable market globally. 

FTSE Russell index expertise and products are used extensively by institutional and retail investors globally. Approximately $16 trillion is currently benchmarked to FTSE Russell indexes. For over 30 years, leading asset owners, asset managers, ETF providers and investment banks have chosen FTSE Russell indexes to benchmark their investment performance and create ETFs, structured products and index-based derivatives. 

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FTSE Russell is wholly owned by London Stock Exchange Group. 

For more information, visit www.ftserussell.com.

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