June 16, 2017 / 11:01 AM / 7 months ago

China stock regulator says would be happy for MSCI index inclusion

SHANGHAI, June 16 (Reuters) - China’s securities regulator said on Friday that it hopes U.S. index provider MSCI will decide next week to include the country’s so-called A shares in its Emerging Market Index - but if not, Chinese capital market reform will not be derailed.

“We would always be happy to see that A shares are included in the MSCI index, and we could welcome such a decision,” Zhang Xiaojun, China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) spokesman told a news conference, according to CSRC’s official website.

“Any emerging market index, including MSCI‘s, would be very incomplete without China stocks.”

However, Zhang added that whatever the result, the direction of China’s capital markets reform, and the pace of the country’s opening, will not be changed.

MSCI has rejected China’s inclusion three times. It is due to announce shortly after 4.30 pm New York time on Tuesday, June 20 - early Wednesday morning in Shanghai - whether to open up its Emerging Markets Index to China shares.

Investors and analysts have said a “yes” decision is likely this time, after MSCI proposed in March to change the methodology for a China inclusion.

The proposal reduced the weighting of Chinese shares for potential inclusion, cutting the number of stocks to 169 from 448 in a bid to address curbs on repatriating capital from China and concerns over the country’s high number of suspended stocks. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and John Ruwitch)

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