SHANGHAI-HONG KONG STOCK CONNECT A paradigm shift for China s financial markets

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1 1 - SHANGHAI-HONG KONG STOCK CONNECT - BNP Paribas Investment Partners - October 2014 For Professional, Institutional and Accredited Investors only - October 2014 SHANGHAI-HONG KONG STOCK CONNECT A paradigm shift for China s financial markets

2 2 - SHANGHAI-HONG KONG STOCK CONNECT - BNP Paribas Investment Partners - October 2014 SHANGHAI-HONG KONG STOCK CONNECT A PARADIGM SHIFT FOR CHINA S FINANCIAL MARKETS Summary In April 2014, the China Security Regulatory Commission and the Securities Commission in Hong Kong announced a pilot programme, Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, to allow mutual stock market access between the stock exchanges in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Scheduled for launch in Q4 2014, Stock Connect (also coined the through-train ) will mark a major milestone within the broader context of the reform of China s financial markets. This programme is an important step within Beijing s overall master plan to accelerate RMB and financial market liberalisation. Today, China is the world s second largest economy with over 12.3% share of global GDP. China makes up 11.3% of global trade, 23% of global fixed asset investment, and 7.9% of global consumption. Onshore- and offshore-listed Chinese equities represent 10.5% of the world market capitalization ranked second behind only the NYSE. Yet, China s weight in the MSCI AC World Index is only 2.2%. It is estimated that global mutual funds have less than a 2% allocation in China. Clearly, global investors are underweight China relative to its global economic influence. We believe Stock Connect has the potential to be the catalyst that will trigger a China re-rating story. Chinese equities are under-represented relative to China s economy China as % of the world 15% 12% 9% 6% 3% 0% 12,3% GDP 11,3% 7,9% 10,5% Total trade Consumption Total cap as % of the world 2,2% MXCN % in AC World 1,8% China Underweight in global MFs Stock Connect will accelerate financial market and RMB liberalisation Some may be surprised that China s capital market was only established 30 years ago, with the first public company formed in And it was only a decade ago that Chinese investments became accessible to international investors, with the first batch of the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) scheme approved in Over recent years, China has accelerated the opening of its capital markets to international investors with the scaling of approvals for QFII quotas, and with the introduction of the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) scheme. The next phase of financial market liberalisation is approaching, and it will result from a new programme called Shanghai- Hong Kong Stock Connect. Currently, international investors are only able to access onshore China investments via QFII or RQFII schemes. And outward investments by domestic Chinese investors have to be channeled via Qualified Domestic Institutional Investors (QDII) programmes. All three license programmes are only granted to institutional asset managers, and come with applicable restrictions such as quota caps, lock-up periods, fund repatriation restrictions, asset allocation rules, etc. With the introduction of Stock Connect, onshore mainland investors and international investors will be able to bypass QFII/RQFII/QDII restrictions and directly access Hong Konglisted and Shanghai-listed shares without pre-approved licenses and quotas. The programme is essentially open to institutional and retail investors on both sides, with the only limitation set for mainland Chinese investors who will be obliged to maintain a minimum trading account balance of RMB500,000. Stock Connect will create the second largest global equities market by market capitalisation (US$6.7 trillion). For international investors, this represents an additional US$4 trillion of market capitalisation that will be added to the investable universe. Source: Bloomberg, MSCI, CEIC, SSE, HKEx, Goldman Sachs Research, September 2014

3 3 - SHANGHAI-HONG KONG STOCK CONNECT - BNP Paribas Investment Partners - October 2014 Stock Connect overview and the implications for international investors The Stock Connect programme will integrate the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges, allowing investors to trade and settle shares on the other market via the exchange in their local market. The diagram below outlines all the regulatory, clearing, stock exchange, and market participants involved, including the order routing process flow for Northbound (A-shares) and Southbound (H-shares) transactions. For Phase 1 of Stock Connect, qualified China-based investors will gain direct access to a list of 266 Southbound eligible shares traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (H-shares); and international investors will have access to a menu of 568 Northbound eligible companies listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (A-shares). The Northbound 568 eligible stocks represent around 41% of the total A-share free-float, and includes all CSI300 constituents. As a percentage of all China onshore and offshore listed equities, the Phase 1 eligible stock list makes up 45% of total market capitalisation, 27% of the free-float, and 28% of the average daily value traded (ADVT). For risk-control measures, Southbound and Northbound trading will initially be subject to a daily and aggregate quota. However, regulators have already hinted that the limits will be relaxed once the programme is smoothly underway. The initial daily volume cap for Northbound trades is RMB13 billion (equating to around US$2 billion), and Southbound is RMB10.5 billion. Phase 1 maximum aggregate quota for Northbound is RMB300 billion, and Southbound is RMB250 billion. Both the aggregate and daily quotas will apply on a net buy basis. In our view Stock Connect is a well-thought-out plan designed to restrict the flow of funds within a closed-loop system. In essence, repatriation of funds/gains must be returned to the home market bank accounts. Hence, funds from the sale of shares cannot be used to speculate in other asset classes outside the home market. CSRC ChinaClear Regulatory Cooperation Clearing Link HK/overseas investors Southbound EPs/CPs Order Routing SSE Subsidiary SSE A Shares Eligible shares Eligible shares Hong Kong shares SEHK SSE Members/ ChinaClear Participants SEHK Subsidiary Order Routing Northbound Mainland investors Mainland Hong Kong Clearing Link Enforcement Cooperation HKSCC SFC Source: Hong Kong Stock Exchange, August 2014 SEHK = The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited SFC = Securities and Futures Commission (HK) HKSCC = Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Limited SSE = Shanghai Stock Exchange CSRC = China Security Regulatory Commission EP = SEHK Participants CP = HKSCC Clearing Participants

4 4 - SHANGHAI-HONG KONG STOCK CONNECT - BNP Paribas Investment Partners - October 2014 Bear in mind that what s covered on the previous page applies to Phase 1 of Stock Connect. This programme has been many years in planning, and the blueprint extends far beyond the initial scope of Phase 1. Earlier this year, MSCI announced its decision not to include China A-shares into the MSCI Emerging Markets (EM) equity and global indices largely due to the investable constraints linked to the QFII/ RQFII quota systems. Similarly, while FTSE has yet to include A-shares in its standard indices, it launched the FTSE Global QFII/RQFII Index Series earlier this year to prepare market participants for the inclusion of A-shares. Both MSCI and FTSE will revisit the A-share decision in their next annual review, and we believe the Stock Connect program may be the solution that will drive a favourable outcome. Stock Connect scheme will make China A-shares easily accessible to international investors, thus removing the key concerns highlighted by MSCI and FTSE Group. China A-shares inclusion in global equity benchmarks will force a major re-weighting of global/em portfolios. Full inclusion of A-shares into MSCI EM would raise China s country weighting from 19% of the benchmark to 28%. Similarly, the FTSE Group estimates that the combined onshore and offshore listed Chinese equities will have a weighting of around one third of the FTSE Emerging index (adjusted for free-float and existing foreign ownership restriction rules). To put this in perspective, passive-fund flows alone would be in excess of US$40bn under the assumption of full inclusion of A-shares into the MSCI EM Index. China = 28% of MSCI EM Index upon A-share inclusion Other 72,3% China 27,7% Source: MSCI, March Assumes 100% Inclusion Factor applied to the free float-adjusted market capitalization of China A-share constituents in the pro forma MSCI China Index. China A-share securities are subject to a foreign ownership limit of 30%. Data as of October 18, 2013 based on the pro forma results of November 2013 SAIR. China = 33% of FTSE EM Index Other 66% China A-shares 14,6% China B&H-shares P & Red Chips 18,8% Source: FTSE Group, Data as of February Assumes 100% Inclusion Factor for all Chinese-listed equities onshore and offshore. Investment opportunities: a case for an integrated China A/H approach Many investors perceive Chinese equities as a growth play and are surprised to hear that Chinese equities are also a yield play. Chinese equities pay on average a 3% - 4% dividend yield, higher than the yield offered by the MSCI AC World benchmark at 2.5%. Also, the payout ratio averages around 30%, offering more upside potential. Adding China A-shares to a portfolio can also produce a positive portfolio effect. Performance correlation of A-shares against global equities is very low, averaging 23% over the past 10 years. A-shares offer global/em portfolios the added benefit of improved diversification and risk/reward profile. For domestic mainland investors, Stock Connect offers an avenue to diversify assets. As a result of capital controls preventing assets from exiting, more than 70% of Chinese households wealth is currently sitting in Chinese properties and/or cash equivalents. Asset allocation is far from optimal. For international investors, Stock Connect offers an additional US$4 trillion of market capitalisation that will be added to the investable universe. Stock Connect opens up a number of Northbound arbitrage opportunities for the experienced managers with strong A&H-share track record. We outline some strategies to monetise on mispriced assets: Strategy #1: Dual-listed A/H premium arbitrage Currently, there are 86 dual-listed companies (on bourses in China and Hong Kong). Since the Stock Connect announcement, A/H-share prices have converged since there is no logical reason for the same company to trade at significant valuation discount/ premium in spite of being listed on separate exchanges. This trade has nearly run its course, and there will be limited opportunities to monetise on this trade post-launch of Stock Connect.

5 5 - SHANGHAI-HONG KONG STOCK CONNECT - BNP Paribas Investment Partners - October 2014 Strategy #2: Onshore sectors unique to A-shares The A-share market offers a wealth of niche exposure that is only available onshore. For example, this is the case for environmental sub-sectors listed in A-shares including water treatment technologies and electric vehicles. Cable satellites, distillers/vintners, drug retailing, and publishing are a few more examples of a host of categories unique only to the A-share universe. Strategy #3: Asymmetric small/mid-cap arbitrage and unique offshore sectors Mainland investors investment preferences are skewed towards growth, small/mid-caps, new economy and technology. Not surprising, high-growth mid-cap A-shares are typically more expensive. Extrapolating this trend, it could be reasonable to expect a re-rating of select growth stocks in H-shares once Stock Connect makes offshore investments accessible to mainland investors. This valuation discrepancy is often the case in environmental infrastructure-related names as well. Strategy #4: Value-chain arbitrage Arbitrage opportunities can also be found across the valuechain for onshore and offshore companies. For instance, H-share listed gas distributors trade at an significant valuation gap to their A-share peers. The valuation gap is unwarranted as these companies offer services along the same value chain. Future roadmap of Stock Connect and implications for China product strategy Stock Connect paves the way for the integration of China s equity market with the global community, beginning with Hong Kong. The framework is structured to be scalable with blueprints already drawn (and in some areas, preparation is already underway) to bring online more asset classes and stock exchange participants. The Stock Connect programme is an important component of China s overall financial system reform, and one step closer towards capital account liberalisation. Internationalisation of the RMB is another derivative and desirable outcome of the Stock Connect scheme. The logical roadmap for Stock Connect over the near-term would be an expansion of the eligible stock list, and relaxation of daily and aggregate quota caps. Shenzhen regulators have already confirmed that Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect plans are underway, and could launch as early as Q ETFs and derivatives are surmised to be added by end-2015; and fixed-income, primary issuance, and commodities may follow in 2016/17. If all is successful, there is no reason to think that it would be difficult to replicate a similar system with regional Asian stock exchanges such as Singapore and Taiwan. Given the existing framework, it may be challenging to bring on other global exchanges with incompatible time zones. Stock Connect will co-exist with the current QFII & RQFII schemes over the next few years. Until the eligible Stock Connect investable universe is completely expanded, and until the Northbound daily and aggregate quota caps are significantly relaxed, QFII and RQFII remain relevant for Chinese equities. However, over time, it s inevitable that QFII and RQFII schemes will be displaced by Stock Connect as new asset classes are ramped up. Stock Connect implies a major revamp of the China product offering. The new paradigm will remove barriers to entry, allowing asset managers to compete on a level playing field. More and more, emphasis will be placed on sourcing managers with combined A&H-share track record. Conclusion Stock Connect will create a paradigm shift, and represents a significant milestone for China s financial markets. For global and emerging market investors, participation in Stock Connect is, in our opinion, a must, as it provides a new framework for investing in China. Early adopters have the potential to benefit the most as the initial demand for Northbound investment appears to be quite high at the outset. In combination with these listed factors, A-shares momentum could find strong support: 1) RMB13 billion daily quota cap, 2) trade flows will be skewed towards the buy direction in the initial months, and 3) nuances of Northbound trading rules (order queue system, only limit orders allowed) will amplify the share price movement. Over the medium-term, A-share inclusion into MSCI and FTSE indices will implicitly make China an investment case too big to ignore. Please feel free to contact the authors with any questions/ comments. Francois Perrin Head of Greater China Equities Hue Lu Senior Investment Specialist Asia Pacific and Greater China Equities

6 BNPPIP Follow BNP Paribas Investment Partners BNPPIP This material has been prepared by BNP Paribas Investment Partners Asia Limited* and is issued by BNP Paribas Investment Partners Singapore Limited ( BNPP IPS )** and BNP Paribas Investment Partners Asia Limited, members of BNP Paribas Investment Partners (BNPP IP)***. The content has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore ( MAS ) or the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission. This material is produced for information purposes only and does not constitute: 1. an offer to buy nor a solicitation to sell, nor shall it form the basis of or be relied upon in connection with any contract or commitment whatsoever; or 2. any investment advice. Opinions included in this material constitute the judgment of BNP Paribas Investment Partners Asia Limited or its relevant affiliate(s) at the time specified and may be subject to change without notice. BNP Paribas Investment Partners Singapore Limited and BNP Paribas Investment Partners Asia Limited are not obliged to update or alter the information or opinions contained within this material. Such opinions are not to be relied upon as authoritative or taken in substitution for the exercise of judgment by any recipient and are not intended to provide the sole basis of evaluation of any strategy or instrument discussed herein. The contents of this material are based upon sources of information believed to be reliable, but no warranty or declaration, either explicit or implicit, is given as to their accuracy or completeness. Investors should consult their own legal and tax advisors in respect of legal, accounting, domicile and tax advice prior to investing in the Financial Instrument(s) in order to make an independent determination of the suitability and consequences of an investment therein, if permitted. Please note that different types of investments, if contained within this material, involve varying degrees of risk and there can be no assurance that any specific investment may either be suitable, appropriate or profitable for a client or prospective client s investment portfolio. Investments involve risks. Investments in emerging markets involve above-average risk. Given the economic and market risks, there can be no assurance that the Financial Instrument(s) will achieve its/their investment objectives. Returns may be affected by, amongst other things, investment strategies or objectives of the Financial Instrument(s) and material market and economic conditions, including interest rates, market terms and general market conditions. The different strategies applied to the Financial Instrument(s) may have a significant effect on the results portrayed in this material. Past performance is not a guide to future performance and the value of the investments in Financial Instrument(s) may go down as well as up. Investors may not get back the amount they originally invested. Any reference to past performance of any market or instrument should not be taken as an indication of future performance. Neither BNP Paribas Investment Partners Singapore Limited, BNP Paribas Investment Partners Asia Limited nor any BNP Paribas Group company accepts any liability whatsoever for any loss arising, whether direct or indirect, from the use of any part of such information. A BNP Paribas Group company may, to the extent permitted by law, have acted upon or used the information contained herein, or where relevant the research or analysis on which it was based, before its publication. This material is for the use of the intended recipients only and may not be delivered or transmitted to any other person without the prior written consent of BNP Paribas Investment Partners Singapore Limited and BNP Paribas Investment Partners Asia Limited. Furthermore, any translation, adaptation or total or partial reproduction of this document, by any process whatsoever, in any country whatsoever, is prohibited unless BNP Paribas Investment Partners Singapore Limited and BNP Paribas Investment Partners Asia Limited has given its prior written consent. * BNP Paribas Investment Partners Asia Limited, 30/F Three Exchange Square, 8 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong. ** BNP Paribas Investment Partners Singapore Limited, 10 Collyer Quay, #33-01 Ocean Financial Centre, Singapore *** BNP Paribas Investment Partners is the global brand name of the BNP Paribas group s asset management services. The individual asset management entities within BNP Paribas Investment Partners if specified herein, are specified for information only and do not necessarily carry on business in your jurisdiction. For further information, please contact your locally licensed Investment Partner. October Design : - P

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