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A shares included in more key indexes

By Zhou Lanxu | China Daily | Updated: 2019-09-24 02:50

Three major global equity index providers now include Chinese A shares as part of their global benchmarks after S&P Dow Jones Indices formally began the inclusion on Monday, highlighting the growing allure of Chinese mainland equities to global investors.

Global index compiler S&P Dow Jones Indices added more than 1,000 A-share companies to its global benchmark indexes with a 25-percent inclusion factor as the first step of including A shares in its global equity benchmark universe.

FTSE Russell's plan of tripling the inclusion factor of A-share constituents to 15 percent also took effect on Monday, following the step by MSCI Inc to raise the A-share inclusion factor to 15 percent in August from 10 percent.

The inclusion factor refers to how much stock constituents' free-float market capitalization is included in an index and dictates constituents' weighting in the index.

China's stock markets, among the largest in the world in terms of capitalization, are now "impossible to be ignored by index providers" after the country's fruitful work in opening up its financial markets, said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, an international foreign exchange platform.

The lack of market accessibility used to be the biggest barrier for A shares to be included in global benchmarks. As China has continued its economic and financial opening-up, including quadrupling daily transaction limits for stock connects between mainland and Hong Kong bourses last year, such concerns have been eased, according to analysts.

Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute at Wuhan University of Science and Technology, said the inclusions showed global investors' confidence in the investment value of A-share assets.

"The A-share market is near its historical low and therefore provides a shelter for global capital that is concerned about downside risks of equity markets in the United States and Europe, which have showed signs of an end to bull runs," Dong said.

International capital is expected to continue to scramble for opportunities in China over the long term, both in stock and bond markets, as China's economic upgrade presents more opportunities than other economies amid a weakening global recovery, said Cheng Shi, chief economist at ICBC International Holdings.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.98 percent to close at 2,977.08 on Monday. The index was up 3.15 percent since the beginning of September.

Foreign capital inflow saw strong momentum this month along with market recovery and inclusion of Chinese shares on global indexes.

As of Monday, the stock connect programs have attracted a net inflow of 59.2 billion yuan ($8.3 billion) this month, according to financial information provider Wind Info.

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