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MSCI adding China big-cap stocks to indexes-in a year

By Wu Yiyao in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-22 08:06

MSCI's decision to include China A-share big-cap stocks in its Emerging Markets Index and All Country World Index is a big shot in the arm for further opening-up of Chinese equity markets.

But there will be no major impact in the short term on Chinese or Asian shares.

"In the long run, the inclusion carries strategically important meaning for the China market, as it is a strong push for a more international-oriented market," said Liu Jipeng, dean of the Equity Market Research Center at China University of Political Science and Law. "But the short-term stimulus should be ignored, given the timing of inclusion and the limited size of capital inflow in the future."

Morgan Stanley Capital International, known as MSCI, is a leading provider of global equity indexes.

Inclusion of the 222 China A-share large-cap stocks won't begin for a year. Further, A-shares weighting in MSCI indexes will be limited early on.

Gao Ting, an analyst at UBS Securities Co, said in the short term the inclusion would not bring significant benefits to the A-share market considering how much capital would be channeled into A-shares compared with the size of the market. But in the long term, A-shares will be more appealing to international investors.

Gao estimates some $14 billion could be channeled into A-shares in the long run, which is about 25 percent of A-shares' daily transaction volume.

"After the inclusion, global investors will pay much more attention to A shares and seek more investment opportunities. In the longer term, there is great potential for more A-share stocks to be included in the indexes, and A-shares will weigh more in the indexes," Gao said.

"On a 10-year view, this decision is very significant. This marks the beginning of A-shares, the biggest emerging equity market by market size and trading volume, joining the pool of investable assets to global investors. Over the past year, more offshore investors have expressed interest in Chinese equities for relative valuation, superior growth outlook and China's economic, social and political stability," said Wendy Liu, head of China equity research and chief strategist of Greater China with the Nomura global investment bank.

According to Eric Lee, Seoul-based analyst with Daishin Securities, the move will have controllable impacts on the securities market in South Korea.

China has made several efforts to increase A-share market accessibility.

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