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Morgan Stanley Capital International

will reweigh its benchmark indices starting next year, basing the weighting of companies on the shares available for trading, or the free float.

Until now, a company's weight in the index has been decided by its total value, which included shares that don't trade. The changes could trigger up to $200 billion in flows as investors respond to the changes in the benchmarks, according to reports.

The first changes will be made Nov. 30, 2001, and completed on May 31, 2002, reports indicated. The firm plans to publish index constituents and their inclusion factors by June 30, 2001.

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Morgan Stanley Capital, a division of

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter


, said it was making the changes in response to demands from the investment community, which uses the indices as a guide for allocating assets and measuring performance.

The indices are benchmarks for up to $4 trillion in investments in 51 countries. About 1,500 investment companies use the Morgan Stanley indices, reports said.