ITALY- Standard & Poor’s and Borsa Italiana are to launch a new index, the S&P/MIB 45, designed to provide a broader and more accurate representation of the Italian equities market.

S&P/MIB 45, which is launching in April, will be more extensive than the existing MIB 30 and will cover approximately 80% of Italy’s market capitalisation. The S&P/MIB 45 will be free-float adjusted and have the global industry classification standard (GICS) applied to each constituent.

“The methodological improvements and new inclusion criteria of the S&P/MIB 45 allow us to more accurately reflect the Italian equities market,” said Massimo Capuano, CEO Borsa Italiana.

S&P’s alliance with Borsa Italiana is the first in Europe and follows those it has with exchanges in Canada, Australia, Japan and the US.

“The S&P/MIB 45 is an investable benchmark for Italian equities in the spirit of the well-known S&P 500, and is based on a careful balance between liquidity and accurate market representation,” says Robert Shakotko, Managing Director of S&P index services.

In the last year, Standard & Poor’s has launched several European indices including the S&P Europe 350 and S&P Europe 350 Sector Indices, both comparable to the U.S. S&P 500. It also recently introduced SPDR, or depository receipts, through a license agreement with Credit Lyonnais AM.

In due course the S&P/MIB 45 is likely to form the basis of new traded index contracts on the Italian exchange.