Index to track foreign firms' performance
New Hang Seng indices will be launched next Monday to track foreign companies' performance and to measure Hong Kong and mainland companies' corporate sustainability.
This comes after Vice-Premier Li Keqiang said an exchange-traded fund (ETF) would be launched this year to allow mainlanders to invest directly in the Hong Kong stock market for the first time. The fund will track the Hang Seng Index on the Shenzhen or Shanghai exchange.
One of the new indices is the Hang Seng Foreign Companies Composite Index, which features 15 foreign companies listed in Hong Kong. Each company has at least HK$3 billion in market capitalisation. The firms include Prudential, Prada, Rusal, L'Occitane International and Genting Hong Kong.
Another new index is the Hang Seng Global Composite Index, consisting of the 15 foreign companies and all the constituents of the Hang Seng Composite Index.
Vincent Kwan, a director and general manager of index compiler Hang Seng Indexes, said the stock market was becoming more international and the new indices would allow investors to compare the foreign companies' performance with the HSI, which comprises local and mainland companies.
The other indices to be launched are the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Benchmark Index, which features 68 constituents, and the Hang Seng (China A) Corporate Sustainability Benchmark Index, which has 28 constituents.
Kwan said the two new indices would enlarge the constituent base of the index series to include more mid-cap and small-cap companies with a strong sustainability performance.
Simon Yung, a director and head of warrant sales at Standard Chartered Bank, said these indices could be useful to the development of ETFs, which usually track a benchmark equity index.