FTSE Debuts US Total Market Indexes
FTSE rolled out a new family of U.S. indexes in April. The FTSE US Total Market Index Series includes more than 4,500 stocks and offers coverage of more than 99.5 percent of the U.S. stock market, the press release said. According to the methodology, all companies with free-float-adjusted market capitalization of at least $20 million and total market capitalization of $25 million are eligible for inclusion.
The series consists of a total market index, which can be broken down into several subindexes, including large-, mid- and small-cap benchmarks, plus value and growth versions of each of those. A micro-cap index covers the bottom 0.5 percent of the broad index.
Nasdaq Rolls Out Commodity Indexes
The Nasdaq Global OMX Index Group debuted a family of 450 commodity indexes in April that is designed to measure the performance of single commodities as well as sectors through the use of futures contracts.
The new Nasdaq Commodity Index family consists of a broad benchmark, an open interest and liquidity-based index, 33 single indexes and five major sectors that include energy, industrial metals, precious metals, agriculture and livestock. Narrower sectors include petroleum, grains and softs.
Most futures-based commodities index families base their indexes on the same roll strategy, be that simple or optimized; however, Nasdaq’s family is the first to offer each of its indexes in five different roll structures.
Barclays Capital Loses ‘Capital’
Barclays Plc dropped the “Capital” from its previous corporate brand “Barclays Capital” in a broad streamlining move that most conspicuously affected the name of its many indexes.
All those indexes will be marketed solely using the Barclays name, the company said in a letter to clients from Waqas Samad, head of Index, Portfolio and Risk Solutions at Barclays. Samad emphasized that there would be no other changes to the indexes.
The change was effective at the beginning of April, and, apart from the letter to clients, the company didn’t formally announce the change, a Barclays official said.
S&P Debuts The ‘GIVI’
S&P Indices launched its S&P Global Intrinsic Value Index in mid-March; the index aims for low-volatility performance.
According to an S&P fact sheet, the methodology screens out the high-beta stocks from the S&P Global BMI and assigns each of the stocks still in the universe an intrinsic value based on the values of each stock’s assets and growth opportunities. The index is weighted by that intrinsic value instead of market capitalization.
The index is calculated in U.S. dollars and six additional currencies, a press release said. The fact sheet also listed several available subindexes, including those targeting developed or emerging markets, regions and individual countries.
MSCI Launches Narrow-Based Frontier Index
In April, MSCI launched a frontier markets index designed to provide enhanced tradability, which iShares has already licensed to use as the underlying index for a yet-to-be-launched ETF.
The MSCI Frontier Markets 100 index comprises the 100 largest and most liquid constituents of the broader MSCI Frontier Markets index.
MSCI designed the new index to combat problems of poor liquidity and low trading volume in frontier markets, and to reduce the tracking error commonly associated with frontier market ETFs.
To enhance tradability, MSCI screened the broader index, made up of 155 constituents, and removed all securities that were subject to a limited investability factor due to low foreign room, or that had a 12-month annualized traded value ratio below 10 percent.
A 50 percent country cap was used to construct the index, although so far no country has neared that level of concentration. Kuwait accounts for the biggest portion of the index, with just less than 30 percent.