Index aficionados cheered this August when Morgan Stanley announced plans for an initial public offering (IPO) of its MSCI Barra indexing and data unit. Morgan Stanley said it would sell a minority interest in MSCI via an offering of Class A common stock, and may decide later to divest all of its interest in MSCI, depending on market conditions and other factors.
As the first publicly traded, stand-alone index company, MSCI will offer index fans a unique opportunity to scrutinize the profitability, business challenges and other issues facing the indexing industry. Never have public filings and quarterly conference calls seemed so exciting.
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