Bourse down­graded from de­vel­oped to emerg­ing

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greece be­came­late on Tues­day the first de­vel­oped na­tion to be down­graded to emerg­ing-mar­ket sta­tus by in­dex provider MSCI Inc af­ter the coun­try’s stocks plunged 91 per­cent since 2007. The MSCI Greece In­dex will no longer be clas­si­fied as a de­vel­oped mar­ket as it failed to meet cri­te­ria re­gard­ing se­cu­ri­ties bor­row­ing and lend­ing fa­cil­i­ties, short sell­ing and trans­fer­abil­ity, New York­based MSCI, whose eq­uity in­dexes are tracked by in­vestors with about $7 tril­lion in as­sets, said in a state­ment. The gauge con­sists of two com­pa­nies, Hel­lenic Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Or­ga­ni­za­tion SA, the coun­try’s largest phone op­er­a­tor, and OPAP SA, Greece’s only gam­bling firm. Locked out of bond mar­kets since April 2010, Greece was forced to ac­cept two Euro­pean Union-led bailout pack­ages as pub­lic op­po­si­tion to pen­sion and wage cuts de­railed the pace of promised eco­nomic re­forms. MSCI put Greece un­der re­view for down­grade in June 2012, say­ing re­stric­tions on in-kind trans­fers, off-ex­change trans­ac­tions, stock lend­ing and short-sell­ing stopped Greece from hav­ing a fully func­tional mar­ket. The prob­a­bil­ity of a de­mo­tion in­creased af­ter Coca-Cola HBC AG, which pre­vi­ously made up al­most a quar­ter of the Athens Stock Ex­change by weight, switched its pri­mary list­ing to Lon­don in April.

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