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STOCKS: S&P to move Greece, UAE, Qatar to “emerging”

16 September, 2014

 * Bond yields edge lower after rating upgrade *

S&P Dow Jones will move Greek stocks into its emerging indexes on Monday while formally removing Qatar and the United Arab Emirates from frontier indexes and upgrading them to emerging markets, after similar moves by rival index provider MSCI.
"This year's major changes to the S&P Global BMI indices are the reclassification of Greece to Emerging status from Developed status, as well as the reclassification of Qatar and UAE from Frontier status to Emerging status," S&P said in a statement.
MSCI moved Greece to emerging markets from its developed indexes last November. It also re-classified Qatar and the UAE as emerging markets at the end of May this year.
S&P said Greece and Qatar would carry weights of 0.8 and 0.9% of the S&P emerging markets BMI index, while the UAE would have 1.0%. That compares with a 24% weight for China and 11.3% for Brazil, the company added.
Meanwhile, Greek bond yields edged lower on Monday after a credit rating upgrade from Standard and Poor's, which said the country remained on track to emerge from a six-year recession.
The upgrade to B from B- late on Friday brought S&P into line with the other main agencies Moody’s and Fitch, and is a boost for Greece's fragile coalition government which is hoping to escape the constraints of its EU/IMF bailout programme.
Greece is expected to hold negotiations with its lenders on further debt relief later this year, and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told a weekend newspaper he is confident the country will not need a third bailout.
Greek 10-year bond yields dipped 3 basis points to 5.70% at Monday's open, while all other euro zone equivalents were flat or a touch higher.
"The upgrade was by-and-large expected, but it explains the slight outperformance this morning," said Rainer Guntermann, a rates strategist at Commerzbank.
Fitch raised Greece's rating to B in March and Moody's upgraded it to 'Caa1' in August.