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​MSCI inclusion list boosts Chinese stocks

Xinhua Financein BEIJING
2018-05-16 08:51

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Chinese stocks closed higher on Tuesday after global index provider MSCI released the final list of A-shares to be partially included in its widely tracked indexes starting June.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.57 percent to end at 3,192.12. The Shenzhen Component Index closed 0.72 percent higher at 10,747.99.

The ChiNext Index, which tracks China's NASDAQ-style enterprises, gained 1.48 percent to close at 1,858.01.

As the first step of the inclusion, 234 Chinese A-shares will be added to the MSCI China Index as well as related global and regional composite indexes as of the close of May 31, 2018, the index provider said Monday.

The shares will be added at 2.5 percent of their Foreign Inclusion Factor adjusted market capitalization, representing aggregate weights of 1.26 percent and 0.39 percent, respectively, in the MSCI China Index and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, according to MSCI.

The second step of the inclusion will coincide with the August 2018 Quarterly Index Review, when the representation of the FIF-adjusted market capitalization of Chinese A-shares will increase to 5 percent.

The list consists mostly of bluechip stocks, with the majority of companies in the financial, consumer and medical sectors.

The inclusion will help China's financial market open wider to the world, with inflows of foreign investment expected, analysts said.

Industrial Securities analyst Wang Delun estimated that 9 billion U.S. dollars of foreign funds would flow into the A-share market after the first step of inclusion, and the inflow would increase to 18 billion dollars after the second step.

"As the A-share market has a free-float market capitalization of 3.4 trillion dollars and a daily average transaction volume of 75 billion dollars, the inflow brought by the inclusion will not have a major impact in the short term," said Gao Ting, a UBS Securities analyst.

Foreign investors have already started increasing their holdings of Chinese stocks ahead of the inclusion.

Data showed that overseas investors have been adding positions of A-shares via the stock connect programs, with net inflows of funds from Hong Kong to the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges reaching 38.7 billion yuan (about 6.1 billion U.S. dollars) in April.

"This showed the growing appeal of the A-share market to foreign investors," Gao said. "The MSCI inclusion will boost market sentiment."

Xie Zhengbin, research director of MSCI Asia Pacific, believes the MSCI inclusion is positive for the A-share market's internationalization and improvement of investor structure.

Analysts believe the inclusion will further open up China's financial market to allow the world share its dividends.

China recently announced a series of opening-up measures, including expanding the daily quotas for the mainland-Hong Kong stock connect programs and allowing foreign brokers to hold a majority stake in securities joint ventures.
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