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April 9 (Reuters) - MSCI Inc MXB.N, the investment analysis firm spun-off from Morgan Stanley (MS.N), reported a 17.1 percent fall in first-quarter profit as higher revenue was offset by a rise in expenses.
The company, which made its market debut in November last year, posted a profit of $17.9 million, or 18 cents a share. Total operating revenue rose 20.5 percent to $105.0 million.
An analyst expected the company to earn 15 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $105.7 million, according to Reuters Estimates.
Operating expenses rose 22.2 percent to $70.3 million.
MSCI, formerly known as Morgan Stanley Capital International, manages more than 100,000 equity, fixed income and hedge fund indexes that form the basis for investment funds and derivatives. It also sells Barra risk management tools for portfolio managers.
In a separate statement, MSCI said Morgan Stanley will sell up to 28 million MSCI class A common shares. This is consistent with Morgan Stanley's previous indication that it may ultimately divest its entire interest in MSCI.
MSCI shares closed at $30.79 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri in Bangalore; Editing by Himani Sarkar)