June 13, 2013
What was unofficial before has become official now: Greece is now considered an “emerging market” country and is no longer included in the MSCI Developed Markets index funds. As a result it is officially no longer a part of the I Fund. MSCI made the announcement late on June 11th as part of its “annual reclassification review” of its indices.
The I Fund seeks to match the performance of the MSCI “EAFE (Europe, Australasia, Far East) Index,” which is one of MSCI’s Developed Markets indices.
Dropping of Greece from the I Fund — whether it happened last year or happens this year — makes little difference, however. In 2011, only 0.1% of the fund was invested in four companies located in Greece. Even if all these companies had gone completely bankrupt that year causing investors to lose all of their money, that would mean that the I Fund would have lost 0.1% of its value and no more.
Additionally, MSCI continues to classify both South Korea and Taiwan as emerging markets. MSCI noted that the two countries “remain under review for a potential reclassification to Developed Markets” in 2014, similar language as last year. Therefore I Fund investors will have to wait another year before either or both of these countries are added to the fund.