On October 26, 2023, MSCI (a provider of benchmark indexes and multi-portfolio analysis tools) announced the reclassification of MSCI Nigeria indexes from Frontier Markets to Standalone Market Status. This means MSCI will delete each Nigerian security from the MSCI Frontier Markets Indexes at a price that is effectively zero. This comes after FTSE Russell reclassified Nigeria’s equity country classification to unclassified from frontier markets on September 8, 2023.
Like FTSE Russell, MSCI attributed the decision to reclassify Nigeria’s market to persistent Foreign Exchange (FX) liquidity issues, which posed a considerable barrier to accessibility to the Nigerian equity market and capital repatriation by foreign investors. To provide some clarity, reclassifications occur when there is a noticeable and concerning deterioration in the accessibility and liquidity of a market. This decline, in turn, creates significant challenges in replicating the market with an index. Typically, a consultation period ensues, during which market participants are