There’s some serious money heading to Chinese stocks, already the world’s best performing equity market this year.
After MSCI Inc. announced Thursday that it would boost the weighting of China’s onshore shares in its emerging market index, more than $46 billion is poised to pour in from funds that track the gauge, according to Bloomberg estimates. Chinese equities climbed to the highest since June on Friday, leaving them up 20 percent this year after gains spurred by speculation the government will take steps to bolster the economy.
Large benchmarks wield an increasing amount of power over investors’ dollars as passive, index-tracking products such as exchange-traded funds gain in popularity. More than $1.8 trillion of investments followed MSCI’s emerging-markets index as of June, but Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimates that $70 billion could ultimately flow into China as active managers and other gauges follow MSCI’s lead on asset allocation.
China-focused ETFs listed in the U.S. jumped Friday, with the Xtrackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF adding 2.4 percent as of 11:55 a.m. in New York. The fund absorbed almost $200 million in inflows last month, the most since August.
But while Chinese stocks rallied, Philippine equities slipped. Markets in southeast Asia could lose out amid the greater allocation to China, according to Morgan Stanley.
MSCI will increase China’s weighting to 3.3 percent from 0.7 percent in three steps between May and November, the indexer said Thursday.
And while that’s a big gain, if the emerging-market gauge was to go by market-capitalization alone, Chinese stocks would account for more than 40 percent. MSCI Chief Executive Officer Henry Fernandez said the nation could win a greater allocation if the economy continues to open up to the outside world.