News Column

Hispanic Business Stock Index Debuts

March 2003, HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine

Juan Solana and Joel Russell

Chart: U.S. Stock Market Indexes Compared
Chart: U.S. Stock Market Indexes Compared

How do you track the strength of an economy? In developing nations, the basic yardsticks include gross domestic product (GDP), purchasing power, capital reserves, currency strength, and creditworthiness. As an economy becomes more sophisticated, other instruments evolve, including the indexes of organized capital markets.

The U.S. Hispanic economy has been called "a nation within a nation" (see "Latinos Inc." by Arlene Davila, University of California Press, $22.50), yet other large Hispanic markets such as Mexico, Spain, and Argentina have their own equity markets and stock indexes. Why shouldn’t the U.S. Hispanic market have one as well?

In response to this situation, HispanTelligence®, the research unit of Hispanic Business Inc., has developed the Hispanic Business Stock Index (HBSI)SM. In the same way that other leading indexes track countries or industries, the HBSI provides a spot-check barometer of conditions for companies in the U.S. Hispanic market.

The HBSI includes publicly traded companies that are majority Hispanic-owned or whose main focus is the U.S. Hispanic market, regardless of the shareholders’ ethnicity. Only stocks traded in the United States on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Nasdaq, the American Stock Exchange (AMEX), or over-the-counter (OTC) were considered for selection.

Thirteen companies, across a spectrum of sectors, meet the criteria (see table, "Hispanic Business Stock Index"). Total market capitalization of the HBSI companies was $15.72 billion as of December 2002, and total annual sales for 2002 amounted to $8.39 billion. The media sector has the most capital on the index and includes Univision, Hispanic Broadcasting, Entra-vision Communications, Spanish Broadcasting, and Radio Unica. Next comes the financial sector, with Popular Inc. (holding company for Banco Popular), International Bancshares, and Metrocorp.

Calculation of the HBSI follows a methodology based on weighted market capitalization, similar to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P500). Market capitalization refers to how much the stock market values the company, or in other words, the price of the stock multiplied by the number of outstanding shares. On that basis, the three top companies on the HBSI – Univision, Popular Inc., and Hispanic Broadcasting – together form the clear bellwether of the Hispanic market, accounting for more than 74 percent of the index (see table, "HBSI Capitalization & Index Weight" below).

HBSI Capitalization & Index Weight*
  Market cap. % of market cap.  
Company name ($M) (weight) Cum. %
Univision Communications $5,588.2 35.55% 35.55%
Popular Inc. (Banco Popular) $4,477.2 28.48% 64.03%
Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. $1,654.3 10.52% 74.56%
International Bancshares Corp. $1,243.1 7.91% 82.47%
Entravision Communications $1,195.8 7.61% 90.08%
Spanish Broadcasting System $465.6 2.96% 93.04%
Gruma Corp. $437.0 2.78% 95.82%
Movado Corp. $223.9 1.42% 97.24%
MasTec Inc. $141.6 0.90% 98.14%
Perry Ellis International $103.4 0.66% 98.80%
United PanAm Financial $98.6 0.63% 99.43%
Metrocorp Bancshares Inc. $81.6 0.52% 99.95%
Radio Unica $8.0 0.05% 100.00%
Total $15,718.3    
© 2003 Hispanic Business Inc. Reprinting, copying, or transmitting all or part of this information requires written permission.
*as of 12/31/02

To better track and compare the HBSI with other indexes, HispanTelligence converted the nominal value of the indexes on a base equal to 100 starting in January 2002. When the figures from the HBSI are compared with figures from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq over the last year, the Hispanic economy is shown to have surprising resilience. Although all the indexes were down in 2002, the HBSI was down much less than the others. The HBSI beat the Nasdaq by 18.73 points, the S&P 500 by 9.94 points, and the Dow by 3.69 points (see table and chart, "U.S. Stock Market Indexes Compared").

While the HBSI is a much smaller index than any of the others, and thus fluctuates more depending on the performance of a small number of companies, the performance of the index in 2002 reflects the underlying strength of the U.S. Hispanic economy, which has grown faster than the U.S. economy as a whole for the past decade. Even in the face of a bear market, the factors that underpin Hispanic growth – demographics, higher education and income levels, and vigorous business formation – remain relevant indicators of strength.

In the future, events may alter the component companies of the HBSI. For example, the pending merger between Univision and Hispanic Broadcasting may cause a reduction in the number of HBSI companies. New initial public offerings of Hispanic-owned or Hispanic-serving companies also will change the mix. When new shares are issued, or if companies have spinoffs, stock splits, and/or dividends issued, the index will change according to the methodology established by S&P. For more information, see "S&P 500 Index Methodology," available online at S&P 500 Index Methodology Section 3 ( 5sec3.pdf).

A monthly update of the HBSI will appear in each issue of Hispanic Business, together with commentary on market developments and players. For daily updates of the HBSI, visit the magazine’s Web site at

Stock research by Research Assistant Michael Caplinger and HispanTelligence staff.


Hispanic Business Inc. believes its data and text to be reliable, but accuracy is not warranted or guaranteed. Hispanic Business Stock Index (HBSI) content may include facts, views, opinions, and recommendations of individuals and organizations deemed of interest. Hispanic Business Inc. does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of, or otherwise endorse, these views, opinions, or recommendations, give investment advice, or advocate the purchase or sale of any security or investment.

HBSI content is provided on an "as-is" basis. Hispanic Business Inc. expressly disclaims all warranties of any kind, express or implied, including without limitation any warranty of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement.

For consideration of inclusion in the HBSI, please forward materials to


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