GLOBAL - Standard & Poor will acquire the market leading Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) and two equity index families from the Goldman Sachs Group, the two companies announced.
Indications from pension funds are that the change in ownership will not affect their extensive use of the index.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed but after a brief transition period, the index will be renamed the S&P GSCI Commodity Index.
The GSCI has an estimated $60bn in institutional investor funds tracking it, the majority of that coming through over-the-counter-transactions.
The commodity index leader was created in 1991 and currently includes 24 commodities, with a heavy concentration on the energy sectors. It is designed to provide investors with a reliable and publicly available benchmark for investment performance in the commodity markets.
Pension funds, which are heavy users of the index, were not concerned about Standard & Poor's acquisition. Spokeswoman of Dutch pension fund PGGM Saskia Oostema said: "As long as the methodology stays the same, a change of the index owner will not affect us."
Heather Shemilt, global head of Goldman Sachs' commodity index business, said: "We are excited that the world's most popular commodity index will become part of the world's premier index provider, Standard & Poor's.
"Goldman Sachs looks forward to continuing to work with institutional investors who want to gain exposure to the commodity asset class through index investing."
Robert Shakotko, managing director at S&P in New York, said: "A well-diversified portfolio now routinely includes exposure to commodities as investors seek ways to reduce risk, preserve capital and generate alpha.
"Our acquisition of GSCI provides investors with additional tools for portfolio and risk management, while adding to the already potent line-up of S&P indices."
The index firm will also acquire the Goldman Sachs Sector Indexes, diversified and broadly representative indexes for healthcare, financial institutions, utilities, consumer companies and cyclical industries, as well as the Goldman Sachs Technologgy Index - a broad composite measure of US traded technology stocks and six technology sub-indexes.
Elsewhere, ETF Securities, pioneer of exchange traded commodities (ETCs) is planning shortly to list a record 31 separate ETCs on Euronext Paris. They will comprise of 21 individual securities and 10 index securities.