DEFINITION of 'The Morgan Stanley Capital International All Country World Index Ex-U.S. (MSCI ACWI Ex-U.S.)'

The Morgan Stanley Capital International All Country World Index Ex-U.S. (MSCI ACWI Ex-U.S.) is a market-capitalization-weighted index maintained by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI). It is designed to provide a broad measure of stock performance throughout the world, with the exception of U.S.-based companies. The MSCI All Country World Index Ex-U.S. includes both developed and emerging markets.

BREAKING DOWN 'The Morgan Stanley Capital International All Country World Index Ex-U.S. (MSCI ACWI Ex-U.S.)'

For investors who benchmark their U.S. and international stocks separately, this index provides a way to monitor international exposure apart from U.S. investments. In August 2018, the MSCI ACWI Ex-U.S. held mid and large-cap holdings across 22 countries classified as developed markets and 24 classified as emerging markets.

The top holdings of the MSCI ACWI Ex-U.S. as of March 30, 2018 were as follows:

  • Tencent Holdings
  • Nestle
  • Samsung Electronics Co.
  • Alibaba
  • Taiwan Semiconductor
  • HSBC Holdings
  • Novartis
  • Toyota Motor Corp.
  • Roche Holdings
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • Total

These holdings span China, South Korea, Great Britain, Japan, and Taiwan. Country weights include: Japan (16.78%), United Kingdom (11.79%), China (7.6%), France (7.45%), Germany (6.64%) and Other (49.69%).

Methodology for Calculating MSCI ACWI Ex-U.S.

The MSCI ACWI Ex-U.S. Index is based on the MSCI Global Investable Market Indexes (GIMI) methodology. This approach to index construction allows for global views and regional comparisons across all market capitalization size, sector and style segments and combinations. The methodology focuses on index liquidity, investability and replicability. Portfolio managers review the index quarterly—in February, May, August and November. The aim of each review is to to reflect changes in the underlying equity markets in a timely manner. Managers re-balance the index during the May and November semi-annual reviews and re-calculate the large and mid capitalization cutoff points.

The MSCI ACWI Ex-U.S. Index should not be confused with MSCI, the independent provider of institutional investor insights and tools. Existing outside of any existing financial institution, MSCI consists of 190,000 equity indexes that are calculated daily. Notably, 12.4 trillion in equity assets are benchmarked to MSCI indexes worldwide, while 99 of the top 100 global investment managers are clients of MSCI. MSCI’s leading equity indexes include the following: 

  • MSCI World
  • MSCI Emerging Markets
  • MSCI Europe
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