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Siebel makes Standard & Poor's 500 index

The business research and ratings service says it is adding the business software maker to its influential S&P 500 stock index.

Standard & Poor's said it is adding business software maker Siebel Systems to its influential S&P 500 stock index.

Shares of Siebel yesterday closed up 44 cents at $123.31. The giant maker of customer relationship management (CRM) software, which automates a company's sales, marketing and call-center needs, has a market capitalization of about $24 billion.

Siebel, which was already a component of S&P's MidCap 400 index, will replace TV and radio giant CBS in the S&P 500, Standard & Poor's said in a statement released yesterday. Viacom, which is involved in a pending merger with CBS, will replace CBS in the S&P 100 index.

In recent months, Siebel has captured favorable attention from Wall Street and industry analysts, as the company continues to dominate the market for CRM software--widely viewed as the next major business software market. Market research firm International Data Corp. projects the worldwide market for CRM software will grow to $11 billion in 2003 from $1.9 billion in 1998.

All the major software makers, including Oracle, SAP and PeopleSoft, have been moving aggressively in the CRM market, as sales for their core enterprise resource planning (ERP) software continue to slump. ERP, or back-office software, automates and manages a company's financials, human resources and supply-chain needs. SAP is expected to make a major announcement involving its own CRM software developments later today.

A date for Siebel's debut on the S&P 500 is to be announced at a later time, Standard & Poor's said.