Business / Markets

MSCI to delay including China A-shares in emerging markets index

By Wu Yiyao ( Updated: 2016-06-15 14:02

MSCI Inc, a global equity indexes provider, announced Thursday morning that it will delay including China A-shares in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, a result analysts believe has limited impact on the A-share market and China's capital market reform.

Recognizing the significant progress to date and ongoing reform efforts, MSCI said that China A-shares will remain on the 2017 review list, pending the conclusion based on investor feedback that the QFII policy changes and new suspension treatment are effectively implemented, and the issue of pre-approval requirements is resolved.

MSCI does not rule out a potential off-cycle announcement should significant positive developments occur ahead of June 2017. 

China has made improvements in major categories including resolution of the issues regarding beneficial ownership, enhanced regulations on trading suspension, and QFII policy changes aimed at addressing quota allocation and capital mobility restrictions, according to MSCI.

Remy Briand, MSCI Managing Director and Global Head of Research said there have been significant steps toward the eventual inclusion of China A-shares in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.

"They demonstrate a clear commitment by the Chinese authorities to bring the accessibility of the China A-shares market closer to international standards. We look forward to the continuation of policy momentum in addressing the remaining accessibility issues," said Briand.

Equity analysts said the results will have a limited impact on A-share market capital flows.

According to Tu Jun, analyst with Shanghai Securities, the capital that may be channeled into the A-share market is around $20 billion if inclusion is successful, which is a small amount considering the entire size of the A-share market.

According to Gao Ting, Shanghai-based chief China strategist with UBS Securities Co, investors might be disappointed if inclusion is delayed but the A-share market is not expected to decline solely based on these results. Its performance may demand an explanation of the result and whether more frequent reviews will be made.

Qi Bin, an official with the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said in Shanghai on a Forum Sunday morning that no matter what decision MSCI makes regarding the inclusion of A-shares, China's capital market reform will not stop.

"The inclusion in MSCI is a historic certainty - it will happen eventually," Qi said.

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