Industry Updates

Comgest backs China A-Shares inclusion

David Tuckwell

Asset manager Comgest has come out in favour of including China A-Shares in MSCI's emerging markets indices.

"The decision is not a question of if, but when," said David Raper, Asia ex Japan portfolio manager at Comgest.

"The MSCI EM today ignores the Shenzhen and Shanghai stock exchanges, which represented 22 percent of global stock exchange turnover in 2016 or 50 percent of China's market capitalization.

"That said China is not a market for passive investors. The mainland China equity market offers all ingredients for alpha generation. Only 10 percent of the market cap is in the hands of professional investors versus 80% in Europe.

"However, there are some risks to the index inclusion. MSCI ignores mainland Chinese equities [because of] concerns on capital mobility as well as the high level of share suspensions. Those are the mirror image of China's controlled capital account.

"The big picture, however, is that Beijing wants to internationalize the Renminbi, which ultimately means full convertibility of the currency not only for trade reasons but also for capital account transactions."

Comgest has significant exposure Chinese A-Shares.


No ETFs to show.