Chart of the week: MSCI takes baby steps into China

MSCI emerging markets index makeup

Index provider MSCI has been considering adding domestic Chinese shares to one of its major benchmarks, the Emerging Markets index, for several years. Now it has finally done so, but “these are baby steps”, says Fidelity’s Tom Stevenson in The Daily Telegraph.

The A-share market is the world’s second-biggest by capitalisation, worth around $7trn. It contains more than 3,000 companies, of which MSCI has chosen 222. These are the only ones it deems large and liquid enough to put in its index. What’s more, says Stevenson, only 5% of their actual market value is being used in the index calculations, and they will have an overall weighting of just 0.7%.

China is already the heaviest-weighted country in the Emerging Markets index, worth 28%. The shares are listed in Hong Kong or New York, however. South Korea is next, with a 16% share; Samsung is the index’s top stock, worth 4%. Taiwan, India and Brazil account for 12%, 9% and 7% respectively. The 23 countries that make up the index also include Poland, Turkey, Russia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Indonesia and the Philippines.