ASEAN Exchanges have introduced an expanded FTSE ASEAN index series which will include Vietnamese stocks for the first time, in a bid to provide a comprehensive suite of indices covering the growing ASEAN equity market.

Vietnam's market will join the five markets of Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. The new FTSE ASEAN index series benchmark will also represent up to 95 percent of the region's market capitalization.

ASEAN Exchanges said the creation of broader benchmark indices, meaningful sector indices and new ASEAN centric products would generate more ASEAN-based opportunities for investors and increase liquidity flows between exchanges.

The three new tradable ASEAN indices are the FTSE ASEAN All-Share Index, FTSE ASEAN Stars Index and FTSE ASEAN All Share Ex-Developed Index.

The FTSE ASEAN All-Share Index represents the performance of large, mid and small cap ASEAN companies.

The FTSE ASEAN Stars Index comprises the 30 most salient companies of each ASEAN country as ranked by market capitalisation and liquidity, with the exception of Vietnam where 15 companies will be selected from the HCM City and Hanoi stock exchanges. The index is also expected to act as a barometer for growth rather than a recommendation for investors.

The existing FTSE/ASEAN 40 Index, which reflects the performance of the largest companies in the ASEAN market, will continue to be calculated as part of the series.

All the indices are free-float adjusted and calculated in accordance with the Industry Classification Benchmark (ICB).-VNA