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Russell Introduces New Emerging Markets Index; Slow Growth in India Hurts Forecasts

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Plus, Indonesia attempts to build a national credit card payment system

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Our weekly roundup of the most interesting news on emerging markets relevant to investors.

Emerging Markets Daily
Link: Russell Introduces New Index to Play Emerging Markets Through Developed World
"Different indicies mean differences in performance. The Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF (VWO) is up 8.5% this year and 3% over the past year while the FTSE RAFI Emerging Markets Index (PXH) is up 6% this year and up 1.4% over the past year.

"Russell Investments, which significantly downsized its ETF business last month, introduced another option for investors interested in emerging markets. Its Russell Geographic Index series identifies companies with significant exposure to targeted geographic regions or countries - a.k.a playing emerging markets without leaving the developed world."

Global Post
Link: Forecasts Bleak as India's Growth Continues to Slow
"India's economy grew just 5.5% in the quarter ended June 30, a serious climbdown from last year's 8% and only a modest bump up from the 5.3% recorded in the previous quarter, according to the Associated Press.

"Analysts at Morgan Stanley (MS) were not amused. The investment bank cut India's economic growth forecast for 2012-13 to 5.1%on Monday, citing a combination of weak external demand, low private investment and poor government finances, Reuters reported. That's the lowest prognosis yet, though economists at Citi, CLSA, CRISIL have also slashed their forecasts, the agency said.

"Morgan Stanley had previously forecast 5.8% growth for India in the year ending March 31."

FT beyondbrics
Link: Indonesia Credit Cards: Going Solo
"Bank Indonesia, the central bank, and a number of major state-owned banks are trying to breathe new life into an old proposal to develop a national credit card payment system to break the dominance of MasterCard (MA) and Visa (V), as has been done in China with UnionPay.

"Although there are still only around 7m credit card holders and 15m credit cards in this nation of 240m people, the numbers are growing by around 7% – 8% a year as the large middle-class continues to expand."
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