Among the changes, Dow Jones Indexes, New York, and Wilshire Associates, Santa Monica, Calif., introduced Oct. 16 the Dow Jones Wilshire Global Total Market Index, the biggest stock index in the world. It consists of more than 12,000 stocks in 56 countries with a market capitalization, based on float-adjusted or shares available for public trading, of nearly $34 trillion, said John A. Prestbo, editor and executive director, Dow Jones Indexes.
In June, Tacoma, Wash.-based Russell announced plans to introduce before the end of this year a global stock index, based on the methodology of its U.S. Russell 3000 index series. Russell isn't ready to release details, but David T. Grieger, managing director of marketing, said: "We've been looking at this for some time. We see there are gaps in existing products used for international benchmarks. They aren't complete and don't seamlessly connect with standards in the U.S.
"We are looking to cover the world like we have in the U.S. (indexes)," Mr. Grieger said. "We will give people a complete view of the markets. The world has gotten smaller,"
And all of this comes as MSCI Barra, New York, announced on Oct. 18 it plans to undertake a major expansion of its MSCI All-Country World index. MSCI will include all investible large-cap and midcap stocks worldwide in the ACWI next year. It also will offer for the first time large-cap and midcap style subindexes for the ACWI.
Also, MSCI will expand its global small-cap index, which is a separate index series, to include all investible stocks below the midcap segment and add all such investible stocks in all emerging markets. The existing small-cap index now covers only developed markets. Also as part of the expansion, MSCI Barra plans to offer growth and value style subindexes for the first time in both ACWI and the small-cap indexes.
MSCI Barra will also offer a new "combined investible market index," combining the expanded ACWI and expanded small-cap index. "We don't have a name for that yet," said Arun Kumar, executive director.
ACWI now covers 85% of the market cap of both all developed and emerging markets and has 2,771 large-cap and midcap stocks whose combined market cap is $27.5 trillion, he added.
Mr. Kumar couldn't say how many stocks would be added to the indexes. He said the expansion plan is the result of discussions that began last March with investors worldwide about MSCI Barra's international equity indexes.
MSCI Barra plans to make public details of the expansion by Nov. 17 and begin consulting with market participants on developing a transition process to the expanded methodology from the existing indexes.