MSCI Barra has introduced, effective Jan. 24, 17 new equity indices focusing on the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The Geneva-based company has created two index series, one reflecting the restrictions applied to investors based in the GCC, namely Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman; and one reflecting restrictions applied to domestic investors. The 17 indices are broken down as follows: six domestic country indices, based on conditions relevant to domestic investors using the so-called “domestic inclusion factors"; six country indices relevant to GCC investors using the so-called “foreign inclusions factors” reflecting foreign ownership limit; and five regional indices. Because of restrictions on foreign investment in the six countries, the firm says it has no plans to add any of the GCC nations to the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. Saudi Arabia bans all foreign investment, while investment in the other GCC countries is limited.