DEFINITION of 'MSCI BRIC Index'

An index measuring the equity market performance of the emerging market indices of Brazil, Russia, India and China. The MSCI BRIC Index is one of MSCI's Regional Equity Indices, and is a free float-adjusted, market capitalization weighted index of four of the biggest emerging market economies. Prior to this index, MSCI launched the first Emerging Markets Index in 1988, focusing on 21 markets.

BREAKING DOWN 'MSCI BRIC Index'

The term BRIC first appeared in a 2001 Goldman Sachs report called "Building Better Global Economic Brics." The paper correctly forecasted that the weight of the BRIC economies (particularly China) in global GDP would grow significantly.

Investors can gain exposure to BRIC markets through an increasing variety of instruments, including ADRs (American Depositary Receipts), closed-end funds, ETFs and mutual funds. In 2007, for example, iShares launched the MSCI BRIC Index ETF. Investing in BRICs, however, carries inherent risks because the markets are not fully developed. Risks such as lack of transparency, undeveloped regulatory systems, liquidity issues and volatility can affect the performance of investments.

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