The MSCI World is a stock market index of 1,650 ‘world’ stocks. The components can be found here. It is maintained by MSCI Inc., formerly Morgan Stanley Capital International, and is used as a common benchmark for ‘world’ or ‘global’ stock funds.
The index includes a collection of stocks of all the developed markets in the world, as defined by MSCI. The index includes securities from 23 countries but excludes stocks from emerging and frontier economies making it less worldwide than the name suggests. A related index, the MSCI All Country World Index (ACWI), incorporated both developed and emerging countries. MSCI also produces a Frontier Markets index, including another 31 markets.
The MSCI World Index has been calculated since 1969, in various forms: without dividends (Price Index), with net or with gross dividends reinvested (Net and Gross Index), in US dollars, Euro and local currencies.