FTSE to add Portugal to world bond index in November; others remain on watch

Credit: REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

Adds details of the announcement in paragraphs 2-11

NEW YORK, March 27 (Reuters) - FTSE Russell said it would add Portugal to its FTSE World Government Bond Index (WGBI) .FTWGBIUSDT effective on November and removed Switzerland from an upgrade watch list, while retaining India and South Korea on watch for upgrades.

FTSE said as of Wednesday's announcement, 17 euro-denominated Portuguese government bonds with 144.9 billion euros ($156.9 billion) outstanding are projected to enter the FTSE WGBI, with a weight of about 0.61%.

The addition to the index would force passive investors benchmarked to the WGBI to load up on those Portuguese bonds.

Switzerland was removed from an upgrade watch list that could have seen it join the WGBI because an expected reform to the tax code did not pass and nothing similar is planned, FTSE Russell said in a statement.

FTSE acknowledged progress in India while it kept the country on the watch list for an upgrade and possible inclusion in its FTSE Emerging Markets Government Bond Index (EMGBI) .FTEMGBIUSDT.

Unsatisfactory criteria for India's upgrade included "documentary requirements to fulfill the Foreign Portfolio Investor (FPI) registration, increased regulatory reporting, the inflexible length of the settlement cycle and the tax clearance process," FTSE said.

South Korea, already rated at the market accessibility level India is on watch for, remained on watch for an upgrade that could see it join the FTSE WGBI.

EQUITY ANNOUNCEMENTS

For its equity indexes, FTSE kept Vietnam on watch for an upgrade that would see the Southeast Asian country classified as a "secondary emerging" market, joining the likes of Colombia and the Philippines.

Vietnam has been on the watch list since 2018 and its president recently set a target for being reclassified by 2025. An update to the status will be provided in September, FTSE said.

Egypt remains on the watch list for a possible move from "secondary emerging" to "unclassified" which would see it drop from EM indexes, with an update expected by the end of June.

Pakistan is still on watch for a possible downgrade from "secondary emerging" to "frontier" market. An update to its status will be announced by July 5, 2024, FTSE said. ($1 = 0.9237 euro)

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Jamie Freed)

((rodrigo.campos@reuters.com; @RodrigoCampos;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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