Bourse downgraded from developed to emerging
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.