Selling the index takes on new meaning
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The World Bank dream of taking an initiative and then passing the operation onto the private sector has come true in the case of an emerging markets database. The database, developed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank's arm for promoting private investment, is being sold to ratings agency Standard & Poor's for an undisclosed price.

"The measure of our success," says Peter Woicke, IFC's executive vice president, "is when the private sector moves in, and we move out." Leo O'Neill, S&P's chairman, described the deal as a key step in rounding out the company's global line of market indexes.

The company has subsequently announced the launch of the S&P Global 1200 index, of which the bellwether S&P 500 of the US is a part. O'Neill wants IFC's emerging markets database (EMDB) to serve as the cornerstone of S&P's strategy to become "the leading provider of data, analysis, and opinions on and in emerging markets." S&P is also linking up with IFC in a five-year relationship to develop new information products for emerging markets.

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