By Aaron Saldanha

June 16 (Reuters) – Global securities index publisher MSCI
is looking at launching indexes for cryptocurrency
assets, according to Chief Executive Henry Fernandez, in what
would be another step towards mainstream acceptance for digital
currencies and the companies trading in them.

Fernandez, speaking at a Clubhouse event organized by
venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz earlier this week, said
MSCI has been talking to experts and is aiming to launch crypto

He gave no details on what assets any index would focus on
nor any timeline for their introduction and MSCI later declined
a Reuters request to elaborate on his comments.

Companies including Bank of New York Mellon Corp,
Mastercard, Visa and Goldman Sachs have taken small
steps towards supporting cryptocurrencies but they are still
little used in day-to-day life.

In May, the S&P Dow Jones Indices unveiled new
cryptocurrency indexes, bringing bitcoin and ethereum to the
trading floors of Wall Street. The new indexes, S&P Bitcoin
Index, S&P Ethereum Index and S&P Crypto Mega Cap Index, will
measure the performance of digital assets tied to them.

Crypto exchange Coinbase Global, of which
Andreessen Horowitz is the biggest shareholder, also
successfully listed on the tech-heavy NASDAQ in April, as
bitcoin hit a record peak.

MSCI has been looking to expand its offerings, with
Fernandez saying on Clubhouse the areas of private credit and
environmental, social and governance (ESG) held opportunities
for the company.

In April, the company launched 20 thematic indexes to help
investors bet on “megatrends” in China that are aligned with the
Chinese government’s policy goals.

The company publishes popular indexes for global equities
and other securities, used by asset managers and investors to
guide the allocation of $14.5 trillion in assets globally as of
the end of 2020.

Inclusion in its indexes tends to open the door to more
funds investing in the asset in question.
(Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru and Sujata Rao in
London; additional reporting by Tom Wilson, editing by Patrick
Graham and Anil D’Silva)