S&P Reclassifies Qatar, UAE to Emerging Markets Status

S&P Dow Jones Indices, one of the largest providers of indices for use by issuers of exchange traded funds, said Monday it has promoted Qatar and United Arab Emirates to emerging markets status.

This marks the first time Qatari and UAE-based firms will be include the in the S&P Emerging BMI index series.

“As previously announced S&P Global BMI indices will undergo its annual reconstitution effective September 22, 2014. 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,” said S&P in a statement.

S&P’s decision to promote Qatar and UAE to the emerging markets classification follows that of rival index provider MSCI (NYSE: MSCI). MSCI announced the promotion last year, marking the first time any country from the Middle East made the jump to emerging from frontier status.

The iShares MSCI Frontier 100 ETF (NYSEArca: FM) has been paring its exposure to Qatari and UAE stocks since the end of May. [Frontier Changes Could be Good for This ETF]

S&P’s move to elevate Qatar and UAE to emerging markets status means the country’s will account for 0.8% and 1% of the S&P Emerging Markets BMI index series. The S&P UAE BMI will include 30 components. The largest weight will be Emaar Properties, First Gulf Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi. The S&P Qatar BMI will include 27 components. The largest weight will be Qatar National Bank, Masraf Al Rayan and Ooredoo, according to S&P.