The index provider promoted the countries from frontier markets to emerging markets in June.
Robert Ansari, executive director at MSCI, said he was proud that the classification was observed under his watch. He added that around $7trn tracks the MSCI indices, with roughly $1.5trn in the emerging markets segment, and that any classification would have a material impact on markets and should not be taken lightly.
Ansari explained that MSCI canvasses opinions and gauges feedback from investors. MSCI follows what the market is doing and any classification is ultimately recognition that large institutional investors have comfort investing in these markets.
Mohsin Mujtaba, product and market development at the Qatar Exchange, said that it had taken time for the exchanges in Qatar and the UAE to recognise that they needed to make changes. He added that the upgrades have had a positive impact on the region.
Previously, he believed that the GCC had been viewed as a single asset class by foreign institutional investor. He said this view of the region will now change.
Mike Cowley, head of trust and securities services, Mena, Deutsche Bank, said the targets had been achieved, particularly delivery versus payment and failed coverage.
Shafi Wahid, head of institutional trading at MubasherTrade, welcomed the news as it had been positive for the firm’s brokerage from the perspective of onboarding of new buy-side clients.