On May 26, 2015, FTSE Russell introduced the FTSE Global China A Inclusion Indexes as a transitional tool in preparation for the potential inclusion of China A-shares in its widely followed global benchmarks. These indexes were designed in response to the gradual liberalization of the Chinese capital markets, as evidenced by the growth of the QFII and RQFII schemes and the introduction of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect program.
It wasn’t too long ago that the concept of factors in investing was the exclusive province of professors of finance and a few active “quant” managers. Mainstream portfolio construction was focused primarily on asset allocation. Within equities, that meant achieving the right balance in allocation to various segments such as large cap and small cap, country and sector, and perhaps value and growth style.
Traditional style indexes – such as growth and value, large and small cap – are designed to represent broad market segments based on investment styles and sets of characteristics that are focused on by professional investment managers, making them excellent benchmarks for evaluating the skill of active managers.
In 1995, Nomura Research Institute and Frank Russell Company’s index group partnered to create the Russell/Nomura Japan Equity Indexes (RNJEI) as benchmarks for the Japanese equity market. The year 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the creation of the RNJEI series and provides a good opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of the indexes.
The RNJEI series was created to accomplish several objectives:1
In finance and investment theory, factors are variables that drive equity returns. In recent decades there has been great interest in identifying factors that help explain equities’ behavior, and factor research has been actively pursued across other asset classes, such as fixed income and currencies.
Recent volatility in the value of the euro, Swiss franc and Japanese yen suggest that risk in global currency markets may be on the rise. The currency market is the world’s largest financial market and, with the ongoing globalization of portfolio exposures, is becoming an increasingly important component of investors’ returns. However, if investors share their currency exposures with those implicit in their equity, fixed income or other benchmarks, they may be setting their currency policy unconsciously, rather than consciously.
An equity factor index is intended to offer controlled exposure to a factor or factors. But how does it achieve this goal in practice? There are a number of conceptual and design steps involved in the creation of an equity factor index and in this paper we explore these decisions.
The earth is flat . . . or so it was believed, until sometime after 500 B.C.1 Until then, explorers dared not venture too far, for fear of reaching the physical limits of the planet and . . . falling off. It’s easy to imagine how constrained the world must have seemed to those who held this view. Equity indexing, too, has had its own “flat earth” period, when the global opportunity set seemed to be limited to the largest stocks from a select number of large countries.
FTSE Russell, the global index and data provider, announces the launch of two new indexes tracking firms operating in the consumer goods and services index and listed on Singapore Exchange (SGX). The FTSE ST Consumer Goods & Services Index comprises the constituents in either the Consumer Goods or the Consumer Services Industries (ICB code 3000 or 5000) under the FTSE ST All-Share Index. The FTSE ST Consumer Goods & Services Liquid 20 Index comprises the most liquid stocks in the sector.
FTSE Russell, the global index provider, today announced the 2017 schedule for the annual reconstitution of its Russell US Indexes. The reconstitution process, closely watched by market participants, is designed to capture and reflect market shifts that have occurred in the past year to ensure investors continue to have the most accurate US equity market benchmarks.
Now in its fourth year, FTSE Russell’s latest global institutional market survey, Smart Beta: 2017 Global Survey Findings from Asset Owners, indicates that smart beta adoption is at an all time high and that investors continue to find new applications for its use. The percentage of asset owners reporting an existing smart beta allocation has reached a new peak of 46%, up from 36% last year. The trend over the past three years shows that increasing global growth and adoption of smart beta is continuing in 2017, with adoption of smart beta in Europe still greater than in North America and Asia Pacific, with 60% of asset owners reporting an allocation.
In this blog post we’ll take a closer look at how each of China’s seven primary share classes relate to each other and to the more mature US equity market. We also examine what effect A-share inclusion would have on the global index landscape and why A-shares continue to feature so prominently on FTSE Russell’s “watch list” for classification as an emerging market, the condition which would allow A-shares into the applicable global and emerging market indexes.
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