David Hernandez, CFA
In 2010, the emerging markets equity benchmark was all about “ME” as materials and energy constituted 28% of MSCI’s Emerging Markets Equity Index. Today, however, they account for half of that, and IT and Consumer Discretionary have nearly doubled, growing from 19% in 2010 to 34% in 2020.
In September of 2018, MSCI adjusted its sector classification standards, partially in response to the increasing integration of the internet into all aspects of our communication and business transactions. This change specifically reclassified e-commerce to include companies providing online marketplaces for consumer products and services in the Consumer Discretionary sector rather than their previous IT classification. Alibaba — the largest stock in the index and one of the largest internet-based companies in the world — serves as one example of a company reclassified under the 2018 standards.
Emerging Markets have become less reliant on commodity prices over the past decade and we see this as a positive. Investors can benefit from the larger investment opportunity set which includes companies that are capitalizing on technology trends that played out in the U.S. throughout the 2010s and continue today, including e-commerce, online payment processing, and social platform businesses.
For more coverage on the Emerging Markets Index, reference our recent newsletter, The Changing Landscape in EM Equity.
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