MSCI Q1 profit jumps on higher demand for index products

By Thomson Reuters Apr 23, 2024 | 6:26 AM

(Reuters) – MSCI’s first-quarter profit rose on Tuesday, due to strong demand for its index products and analytics services as the likelihood of fewer U.S. Federal Reserve rate cuts sparked volatility.

Companies such as MSCI benefit from market swings as investors rush to rebalance portfolios and hedge against risks.

Recurring subscriptions in its index segment — agreements where clients pay regular fees to access MSCI’s products over a specified period — rose 8% to $213 million, primarily due to strong growth from market-cap weighted and custom index products and special packages.

Asset-based fees in the segment rose about 13% to $150.3 million.

“Record AUM balances in MSCI-linked index products drove strong revenue growth from asset-based fees,” CEO Henry A. Fernandez said.

The global index provider also offers clients subscriptions for information, data and tools to help them evaluate and invest in diverse global markets.

MSCI’s ESG and climate arm posted a 16% jump in operating revenue in the three months ended March 31.

Meanwhile, new recurring sales in analytics led to the unit’s highest first quarter in a decade with nearly 12% growth in operating revenue.

Excluding one-off charges, MSCI earned $3.52 a share for the first quarter, up from $3.14 a share a year earlier.

(Reporting by Mehnaz Yasmin in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)