New EM Exposed index from Stoxx

Index provider Stoxx announced an interesting new benchmark – the Stoxx Global 1800 EM Exposed Index. In brief, this is a sub-index of its Stoxx 1800 Global Index (which holds 1,800 developed world stocks) focusing on companies that get a substantial portion (at least 33%) of their revenues from emerging markets.

The press release [PDF] has a bit more detail, as does the index data page on the Stoxx site (although there isn’t much data up yet). Conceptually, this is pretty similar to the Russell Geographic Exposure Index series launched in September.

In both cases, the idea is that you can get exposure to EM growth through developed world stocks that offer better liquidity, corporate governance and other desirable factors. It’s a fairly popular theme and with two related indices launched in the last few months there’s a good chance that we will see an exchange-traded fund based on it sooner or later.


New quality indices from MSCI

“Quality” is clearly a popular theme among nervous equity investors at the moment, so it’s not surprising to see that MSCI has just launched a series of quality indices. The press release [PDF] and methodology [PDF] give more details, but essentially the components are screened on three factors: High return on equity, stable earnings and low financial leverage.

This is what most investors would consider to be a simple standard definition of quality, as opposed to the two obvious comparison indices: Société Générale’s new-ish Global Quality Income Index (which is a somewhat more complicated combination of the Piotroski score and the Merton distance-to-default model) and the older Standard and Poor’s S&P 500 High Quality Rankings Index, which is based on stability and growth of earnings and dividends (and in my view doesn’t seems to provide a very satisfactory quality filter).


Historical valuation data for global stockmarket indices

Long-term historical data on price/earning ratios, price/book ratios and dividend yields for stockmarket indices is extremely valuable in looking at long-term returns – but it can be very difficult to obtain. While price data is available for many major markets stretching back decades or more, valuation data typically hasn’t been recorded so carefully.

The figures that are available have usually been reconstructed from old earnings reports and are proprietary data sets that are expensive to access. For those who are willing to pay, Global Financial Data is probably the most comprehensive source for very long-term financial data of all kinds.

For those who can’t justify the cost of paid-for data, there are a few freely downloadable data series for some of the major indices around the world, although they are often hard to find and there is no consistency about which markets are available. The following links will take you to the ones I’ve found that are still updated  – if you’re aware of any others, please let me know in the comments below or by email.