MSCI has announced the launch of MSCI Real Time Indices, a set of over 750 equity indices, calculated every 60 seconds. The new product will allow investors to view the state of the global equity market in real time, 23 hours a day.

MSCI Real Time indices will calculate in real time a range of regional, country and sector indices, including the MSCI World index which covers 1,300 stocks.

“Until now there’s been a discrepancy between what fund managers, traders and sales people typically look at during the day and what the actual benchmark is,” says Baer Pettit, executive director responsible for MSCI Europe.

“The traditional use of indices in countries like Spain, France, the US and Japan, for example, has been totally different in terms of construction, methodology, weightings and so on. This is the first time people are going to be able to use a set of real time indices which are constructed on a like-for-like basis,” he says.

“This product is much more comprehensive than any other in the market and although it's really aimed at traders, sales people and fund managers, we have actually found a surprising amount of interest from pension funds across Europe.”

In Europe the MSCI Real Time indices are available at the industry group as well as the sector level, for MSCI Europe and MSCI EMU indices. For the Asia Pacific region, the new product combines both developed and emerging markets to reflect the regional importance of areas represented by indices such as MSCI All Country Far East Free ex Japan. MSCI real time indices are available via Bloomberg and Reuters.

MSCI has also announced that it will adjust the MSCI Small Cap indices for free float before the end of November. At the same time, MSCI intends to review the appropriateness of the market capitalisation range of $200-800m currently used to define the small cap universe. “We are doing this in response to market demands,” says Pettit.

“There has been a large increase in demand for small cap products. Many of our clients have told us that because the markets have moved a lot, the small cap universe we are currently examining might be too narrow.” MSCI plans to continue consulting with investors before announcing a final decision.