In an attempt to gain acceptance into broad MSCI Inc. (NYSE: MSCI) Europe indices, and potentially into related exchange traded funds, Israel’s Tel Aviv Stock Exchange could end its Sunday open schedule and switch over to Western trading days.
Julien Assous, chief executive officer of Israel Brokerage & Investments and a member of the TASE board of directors, revealed that the bourse is considering changing the exchange’s Sunday-to-Thursday trading days, following feedback from MSCI about potential hurdles for wider acceptance, reports Gabrielle Coppola for Bloomberg.
The TASE board is contemplating shifting open days to a Monday-through-Friday schedule.
“If one of the obstacles to us becoming part of the MSCI Europe was us trading on Sunday, hopefully this will take away one of the obstacles,” Assous said in the article. “There are many issues, but being a part of a major MSCI index is the big issue.”
Chief Executive Officer Yossi Beinart is trying to meet with MSCI representatives in October for talks over TASE’s inclusion in the European Index. Former TASE CEO Ester Levanon has stated that a move onto the Europe Index could help attract as much as $2 billion in foreign capital.
A broad Europe stock ETFs, the iShares Core MSCI Europe ETF (NYSEArca: IEUR), which tries to reflect the performance of the MSCI Europe Investable Market Index, does not include exposure to Israeli company stocks. However, MSCI were to accept Israel into its broader European index, IEUR could track some Israeli stocks down the line.
MSCI upgraded Israel from emerging market to developed market status back in May 2010.
Investors can still track Israeli stocks through country-specific ETFs like the iShares MSCI Israel Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EIS), which tries to reflect the performance of the MSCI Israel Capped Investable Market Index.
The trading-day changes would likely still have little effect on Israel-related ETFs as normal operating hours on the TASE do not correspond with normal hours that the U.S.-listed ETFs trade. [The Underlying Value of an ETF’s Portfolio]