China A shares will be granted secondary emerging market status by FTSE Russell, effective June 2019.
The index provider said in an announcement of country classifications that the securities would be transitioned from an unclassified status to secondary emerging market within its FTSE Global Equity index series in three stages: June 2019, at which point China A shares are set to account for about 5.5% of the total FTSE Emerging index, representing initial net passive inflows of $10 billion in assets under management and represent about 0.57% of the FTSE Global All Cap index; September 2019; and March 2020. The final two stages are dependent on the success of the first stage of implementation, FTSE Russell said Wednesday.
Following each stage, FTSE Russell will seek market feedback to evaluate the market's ability to absorb the additional assets.
Inclusion in the indexes will be calculated using 25% of a stock's investible market capitalization of the eligible large, mid- and small-cap securities from the FTSE China A Stock Connect All Cap index, made up of about 1,250 securities.
FTSE Russell has been evaluating the China A-shares market for promotion since March, looking at three access routes for foreign investors: FTSE Russell's Stock Connect indexes; and China's qualified foreign institutional investor and renminbi qualified foreign institutional investor programs.
The provider also said China's government bonds will be added to its watchlist, to be assessed for possible inclusion in the FTSE World Government Bond index.
"The Chinese authorities have continued to introduce reforms designed to open their market to international investors and have transformed their economy into the second largest in the world," FTSE Russell CEO Mark Makepeace said in the announcement.
FTSE Russell also said that Iceland would be reclassified as a frontier market starting in September 2019, and Romania will remain on the watchlist for possible reclassification as a secondary emerging market from frontier.