South Korea's bourse operator sealed a provisional deal Friday with global investment index provider MSCI Inc. on data provision, raising hopes that the country may graduate from its emerging market status in the global equities index.
The Korea Exchange (KRX) said its Chairman Kim Bong-soo and MSCI Chairman Henry Fernandez reached an agreement on sharing the local exchange's stock market information after 10 years of talks.
With the move, the KRX is set to provide real-time market data to four key global index providers, including the Financial Times Stock Exchange Group, the bourse operator said in an e-mailed statement.
The KRX, however, said the two sides plan to discuss the issue of overseas listings of MSCI index-backed derivatives in a separate session.
Meanwhile, the agreement raised the possibility of the MSCI upgrading South Korea from its current emerging market status next year. South Korea is currently tracked on the MSCI Emerging Markets Index along with 20 other countries.
MSCI had kept South Korea's status unchanged in 2009 and 2010, citing the country's rigid investor identification system and a market data provision issue.
MSCI, based in New York, tracks stock market performances of 77 economies classified into three market categories -- developed, emerging and frontier markets.