MSCI delays decision on Qatar, UAE upgrade to Dec

NEW YORK, June 21 Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:21pm EDT

NEW YORK, June 21 (Reuters) - Index provider MSCI on Tuesday delayed to December its decision on whether Qatar and the United Arab Emirates should be classified as emerging markets, a promotion eagerly awaited by the two Gulf Arab states.

South Korea and Taiwan, which were on review for a potential upgrade to developed market status, will remain classified as emerging markets at least until next year's review, MSCI (MSCI.N) said in a statement.

Qatar and the UAE have been under review for a promotion from their frontier market status for the past two years, but issues such as stringent foreign ownership limits and use of dual account structures have been delaying the move.