BUSINESS Stock declines cloud MSCI debut

BUSINESS

Stock declines cloud MSCI debut

Cai Xiao and Oswald Chan | China Daily

22:05, June 02, 2018

An investor looks at share prices at a brokerage in Fuyang, Anhui province, on Friday. WANG BIAO/FOR CHINA DAILY

The much-touted inclusion of China's A shares on the MSCI Emerging Markets Index started on a dismal note on Friday, with more than 200 of the newly included companies witnessing price declines on their trading debut.

Experts said the prospects of a future influx of foreign funds failed to excite investors on Friday as the MSCI inclusion has a limited short-term impact on A shares.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index declined by 0.66 percent to 3075.14 points. The Shenzhen Component Index decreased by 1.23 percent, while the ChiNext startup index fell 1.96 percent.

Several of the biggest companies on the list saw their share prices drop on Friday. They include heavyweights like Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd, the world's largest distiller, automaker SAIC Motor Corp Ltd and consumer appliance giant Midea Group Co Ltd.

Global equities index compiler MSCI for the first time added around 230 big-cap Chinese shares to its benchmark Emerging Markets Index and other indices.

"Today's MSCI inclusion will prompt foreign investors to increase their focus on China shares," said Hong Hao, chief strategist at BOCOM International Holdings Co. "But the weighting of A shares in the Emerging Markets Index was a small fraction (0.5 percent), so the short-term impact can be limited."

"The MSCI inclusion has limited short-term impact on A shares as most active managers had reacted much earlier," said Jack Lee, head of China A-Share Research at asset management company Schroders Plc.

Lee said they have been seeing a strong net buying through stock connect programs.

"The inclusion of A shares in the MSCI Emerging Market Index will facilitate the enhancement of cross-border connectivity between Hong Kong and the mainland capital market," said Zhou Xiaochuan, former governor of the People's Bank of China.

Zhou said the cooperation between various capital markets and cross-border services is more evident.

Lee from Schroders said the correlation of A shares with other indices will gradually increase over time. This is because global capital flows are highly correlated to the US and other major economies' monetary cycles.

China's securities regulator said on Friday that the inclusion of A shares in the MSCI is a milestone in the internationalization of China's capital market and a wise choice for global investors.

Li Xiang contributed to this story.

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