Gaucho Holdings Logo

Source: Bloomberg
By: Carolina Millan

Argentina is one step closer to regaining its status as an emerging market as MSCI Inc. considers the possibility of an upgrade that could lure new investors.

The market in South America’s second-largest economy will be included in MSCI’s 2017 annual market review to determine if the nation is ready to leave its frontier status after seven years, the New York-based firm said in a statement.

The review comes as President Mauricio Macri takes steps aimed at jump-starting growth and restoring investor confidence. Since taking office in December, he’s eliminated most capital controls, scrapped some export taxes and reached a deal with creditors from the nation’s historic default in 2001.

A reclassification by MSCI, whose indexes are the benchmark for more than $10 trillion in assets worldwide, could bring a surge of capital from investors who wouldn’t put their money in a frontier market, a grade shared by countries such as Kazakhstan and Morocco. Funds with about $1.7 trillion in assets track MSCI’s emerging-market index, compared with just $26 billion for the frontier gauge.