Standard & Poor’s are working on a number of new index products focusing on Asia. Alka Banerjee,
New York-based vice president of product development for S&P’s global indices business, says they are in the process of developing some tactical opportunity indices, including an extension of their dividend opportunity range.
In the past year, S&P have been promoting their tradeable indices and strategy indices. Among the most popular have been the South East Asia 40 index, which includes the most liquid stocks in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia. Following that, they developed a series taking the top 10 stocks, including India and Vietnam, where the components are essentially ADRs and GDRs. A Middle Eastern version is expected soon.
The Pan Asian Dividend Opportunity Index has been popular and, with attention focused on high yielding stocks in Japan and Australia, S&P is developing indices for these two markets. Banerjee says they both provide access to large highly liquid companies, many of whom are paying high dividends in the current environment.
Meanwhile FTSE is rolling out nine new indices as an expansion on its existing FTSE Environmental Opportunities All Share Index - a global benchmark of companies with over 20% of their business in environmental markets. The Environmental Index Series measures the performance of companies whose core business is the development and deployment of environmental technologies, including alternative energy, water treatment, pollution control and waste management. Created in collaboration with specialist fund manager Impax, the Environmental Opportunities Index Series now includes not only the EO All Share headline index, but eight sector-based indices and a top 100 index by market capitalisation.
The new indices are:
• FTSE EO 100 Index
• FTSE EO Water Technology 30 Index
• FTSE EO Water Technology Benchmark
• FTSE EO Renewable Energy 50 Index
• FTSE EO Renewable Energy Benchmark
• FTSE EO Energy Efficiency 50 Index
• FTSE EO Energy Efficiency Benchmark
• FTSE EO Waste and Pollution Control 30 Index
• FTSE EO Waste and Pollution Control Benchmark
FTSE has set up an independent committee of clean tech and investment professionals, who will govern the research and management of the environmental indices. The chair is Winston Hickox, who designed an implemented CalPERS’ environmengal investment mandates and is the former secretary of the State of California Environmental Protection Agency.