Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Xinyi Solar, BYD Added to Hong Kong Stock Gauge in Overhaul

People wearing protective masks walk past signage for Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. (HKEX) displayed at the Exchange Square complex in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020.

Xinyi Solar Holdings Ltd, BYD Co. Ltd. and Country Garden Services Holdings rallied after being added to Hong Kong’s stock benchmark in the first step of its biggest-ever overhaul.

That will boost the number of firms in the Hang Seng Index to 58 companies from 55, Hang Seng Indexes Co. announced late Friday in its quarterly review. No companies were removed, and the changes are effective June 7. All three firms rose by at least 5.3% on Monday morning.

The index compiler is also lowering the weighting of some of the biggest stocks to as much as 8%. As of Friday’s close, AIA Group Ltd., Tencent Holdings Ltd. and HSBC Holdings Plc were all above that threshold, according to Bloomberg data.

Xinyi Solar Leads HSI New Joiners Up; JD Health Drops After Miss

The changes are part of a wide-ranging revamp the index compiler unveiled earlier this year to diversify and broaden the benchmark, a move that may impact tens of billions of dollars in pension-fund assets and exchange-traded funds tracking the HSI. Measures include boosting the total number of constituents to 80 by the middle of next year and broadening representation of companies from different sectors.

Further reading
Hang Seng Index Takes First Steps in Biggest-Ever Overhaul
Hang Seng to Boost Index Members to 80 in Biggest Makeover
Hong Kong Stocks’ Yawning Gap Versus World Keeps Getting Wider

Analysts were expecting the first batch of new members to come from industries that are currently under-represented, such as consumer and health care sectors. About $16 billion worth of exchange traded funds track the HSI, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“My view is that the index will come out of this more diversified and that could reduce risk overall for investors that are marked to this benchmark,” said Paul Sandhu, head of multi-asset quant solutions Asia Pacific at BNP Paribas Asset Management. “It reduces concentration risk, which should provide more stability to index dynamics. This could attract more capital to Hong Kong overall, as the universe of securities will be expanded.”

Hong Kong’s stock market has delivered one of the worst equity performances globally since its February high, with technology stocks sharply underperforming the benchmark amid a global selloff.

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