State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Madison, strengthened its screening of emerging market countries.
The $78.8 billion fund added the Index of Economic Freedom to be used along with the Freedom House ratings SWIB already uses "to determine the investibility of bonds or equities of companies domiciled within individual emerging market countries," said Vicki Hearing, public information officer.
SWIB will review each country in its $1.8 billion emerging market equities and $1.4 billion emerging market debt portfolios to see if it passes both screens. "A country that passes both is investible," Ms. Hearing said. "A country that passes one screen but not the other is eligible for consideration; the investment committee would have to approve the investment.
"We have some non-conforming investments in bonds and stocks," she said about the results of the screening. Fund officials don't yet know how many, she added.
The Index of Economic Freedom, produced by The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation, measures 161 countries on 10 broad factors of economic freedom. Freedom House ranks 192 countries and 18 territories on political rights.