Asia Index Pvt Ltd has launched S&P BSE Bharat 22 Index to track the performance of select state-run companies in which the central government has divested its stake.

The index, as benchmark for “Bharat 22” disinvestment programe of the government, comprises 22 select blue-chip companies of which 16 are Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), 3 are from Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (SUUTI) and 3 are PSU banks, and are listed on the BSE.

Significantly, S&P BSE Bharat 22 has been licensed to ICICI Prudential AMC for the development of an exchange traded fund (ETF) based on the index.

S&P BSE Bharat 22 covers six sectors — industrials, finance, utilities, energy, FMCG, basic materials and telecom. The index is represented largely (nearly 89 per cent) by companies from the S&P BSE LargeCap index.

Since its inception (March 17, 2006 as base date) to July-end 2017, the S&P Bharat 22 has outperformed S&P Sensex amid marginal volatility, Asia Index senior manager Mahavir Kaswa told reporters here.

The companies under the index include Larsen & Toubro, State Bank of India, Coal India, NHPC, Oil & Natural Gas Corp Ltd, ITC Ltd, Axis Bank, Bharat Petroleum Corp, Gail India, Power Grid Corp of India, National Aluminium Co Ltd, and Bharat Electronics.

Asia Index CEO Alka Banerjee in a statement said: “Divesting from publicly listed companies has been a key agenda item for the government. We are delighted to announce the launch of the S&P BSE Bharat 22 Index which will be used as a vehicle to help support the disinvestment process as well as increasing the passive investing foortprint in India.''

The index would be rebalanced annually in March.