London-based stock index compiler FTSE yesterday upgraded Malaysia’s market to ‘advanced emerging’ status, along with Turkey and the Czech Republic — a reflection of positive changes to each country’s investment and regulatory environment and openness to overseas investors. Specific criteria include custody and settlement, the dealing landscape and derivatives.

“This is testament to the efforts taken to build an efficient and quality market and we are now ready to take on a new level of challenge in this upgraded classification of our capital market,” said Bursa Malaysia’s CEO Yusli Mohamed Yusoff. It is hoped the upgrade will attract more global attention and institutional investors to the Malaysian market when its new status becomes official in June 2011.

FTSE’s rankings are: Developed, Advanced Emerging, Secondary Emerging and Frontier. Greece, which achieved ‘developed’ market status upon joining the euro in 2001, has retained its status thanks to some FTSE-requested changes, but remains on a watchlist for possible downgrade at the next review in 2011.

sources: Bernama and The Edge Malaysia